The sun, the most important source of energy for our planet, can be a very reliable energy source when used efficiently. Despite the increased use of fossil fuels in recent years, our dependence on them has increased dramatically due to their quick and abundant supply. While we have no shortage of fossil fuels, we certainly do have a shortage of renewable energy sources. The sun is the ultimate renewable energy source because it does not run out. All we have to do is let it shine on our solar panels to produce electricity each day! Since the dawn of time, mankind has tried to harness the power of the sun. This is why you will often find ancient ruins with roof tiles pointed toward the sky to take advantage of the sun’s energy. Unfortunately, not all of these early attempts at solar energy conversion were practical or successful. It took the advancement of technology and the introduction of new materials to create efficient and reliable ways to harvest the power of the sun.
The fact is, we now live in a world where solar energy can be useful and reliable. There are many different ways to produce solar power, including solar thermal power, solar photovoltaic power, and solar hot-tubs. However, the most common and the most useful form of solar energy is solar thermal power. You will often find this form of solar energy on larger sized buildings because it is more suitable for larger spaces. The panels are usually aligned in an east-west orientation to allow for the maximum possible exposure to the sun during the day. When the sun is directly overhead, the solar radiation is at its peak and can be used effectively. Most people are familiar with solar photovoltaic power because it is the simplest type of solar energy to understand and use. Hot showers, refrigerators, and air-conditioners consume a lot of energy, and it is only in relatively few situations that solar photovoltaic power is effective and reliable for providing these things.
How much energy does the sun produce? This is a commonly asked question, and the answer is, it varies. The energy that the sun produces depends on many different factors, including solar intensity, the angle at which the sun is aligned with the surface, and of course, the time of day. In general, the more solar intensity and the smaller the angle at which the sun is aligned with the surface, the more energy it will produce. These factors can be determined using simple formulas and are relatively easy to calculate. The amount of energy produced by the sun varies between 10 and 14 kilowatt-hours per day (kWh/day). This is not a lot of energy, and it only represents a small slice of the energy that is available. When the sun is directly overhead, it produces about 300 watt-hours per hour. This is 300/24, or about 12.5 kwh/day, which is the amount of energy that a typical house uses in one day. When the sun is below the horizon, its output drops dramatically, and in the northern hemisphere, it can be completely shut off due to the lack of daylight in the winter months.
The Many Advantages Of Solar Energy
Let’s examine the many advantages of solar energy shall we?
It Is Environmentally Friendly
When you consider the fact that the sun is the ultimate renewable energy source and can be relied on to provide power to the earth for billions of years, it is rather easy to understand why solar energy is considered to be environmentally friendly. The main point is to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and eliminate the many environmental concerns that these fuels raise. If we are to have any chance of surviving as a species, we need to find alternative sources of energy as soon as possible. When the sun is providing all the energy that we need, there will be no more worries about energy shortages, or climate change for that matter.
It Is An Abundant Source Of Power
One of the major concerns around the world right now is the lack of electricity. As we have been steadily pumping out more and more energy, our energy needs have increased to the point where we are finding it difficult to produce and distribute enough to meet our demands. When the sun is shining, it is providing power and heat to our planet in the form of sunlight, and thankfully, this is an abundant source that we can draw on to provide power. If we convert all of the solar panels in the world into power stations, we would still only be able to supply enough energy to meet the demands of a few million people. The fact is, the sun is providing power and heat to the earth constantly, which is why we can always rely on it to provide what we need. Another important point to make is that solar energy can be used for all sorts of applications, not just electricity generation.
It Has A High Efficiency Rate
Efficiency is one of the key factors when considering alternative sources of energy. After all, we do not want to create more waste than we have to. If we can design and build more efficient energy-consuming devices and systems, we will undoubtedly reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, which are becoming more and more scarce and costly to obtain.
It Has No Risk Of Running Out
We have all heard of the perils of running out of oil or coal. If we continue to depend on fossil fuels as our main source of energy, there will come a point when we will simply run out of them. This will have serious consequences for our entire species. When the sun does run out, we will have no power and no way to make our necessities, such as water and warmth, and many people will die. Luckily, we have the sun, and it will continue to provide these things to our planet for many years to come. There is no risk of running out of solar energy because it is an infinite source. As long as the sun continues to shine, we will have power and can consume it as we need it.
It Generates Power 24/7
The sun does not just provide energy for our planet during the day. In fact, it provides energy 24/7. Even when the earth is covered in thick clouds or when it is completely dark, the sun is still producing energy. This is because its rays are still penetrating the clouds and the darkness, hitting the earth and producing heat. If we have some sort of thermal siphoning device or structure, we can still use this heat to generate electricity. When the sun is directly overhead, it gives us our best shot at generating power anytime we want it because the electricity can be immediately drawn off. This makes solar energy very convenient because we can use it when we need it and do not have to worry about timing the generation of power to avoid surges or fluctuations in supply.
It Provides Light And Shade
During the day, the sun provides light and shade, helping to keep the earth’s temperature in check. When the sun is shining brightly, it heats up the earth and provides us with light. Conversely, when it is overcast or cloudy, it cools the earth and provides us with shade. This is why many ancient structures have been designed with roof tiles pointing toward the sky to take advantage of the sun’s energy. If we build our homes and businesses in appropriate locations where the sun can naturally heat and light them up, this is one way of getting some of the advantages of solar energy without actually having to rely on it.
It Has No Maintenance.
One of the things that make solar energy so desirable is that it has no maintenance. It simply requires consistent sunlight to produce electricity. The only thing that it needs is to be pointed toward the sky to take advantage of the abundant sunlight and heated up by the rays to generate electricity. The fact is, once it is up and running, solar energy generation does not require any maintenance. This makes it extremely reliable because you can always depend on it to produce electricity whenever you need it. If you want to generate your own electricity using the sun as a source, you can simply set up a system where the electricity is stored when the sun is shining and consumed when it is not.
The Many Forms Of Solar Energy
Now that you are aware of the many advantages of solar energy, it might be beneficial to examine the different ways that it can be harnessed to generate power. After all, not all forms of solar energy are created equal, and it can be useful to know the various methods that are out there.