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In the modern world, the use of gas increases from year to year. As different studies show, almost 20 million barrels of oil are consumed by America every day. Oil, coal, and gas are not renewable and will run out some day. Moreover, they harm the environment greatly. Different fuel emissions heat and destroy the atmosphere and pollute air, water, and soil (Pros and Cons of Solar Power 2013).
The use of solar cells is an effective means of solving these matters. Solar energy becomes widely used and available from year to year. Different governmental programs in Europe and USA stipulate people's transition to solar energy. The increased demand for using solar energy promotes the lower price and greater manufacturing of solar cells in the last years.
Humans have been using solar energy for years. People of ancient cultures were using sun rays to start fires and keep themselves warm. Special passive solar energy designs were widely used to keep homes warm. Walls and floors were built in a way to collect sun heat during the day time, and this heat was released later at night.
Solar energy is a special kind of energy that is generated with the help of special technology harnessing energy of sun and making it available for human use. Today, the use of this type of energy is not very widespread. Such technologies make less than one tenth of 1 % of global energy demand (Solar Energy 2013).
This kind of energy is one of the most stable sources of energy on Earth. Regardless of economic, political, social, or any other situation in the world and different changes, the sun will always rise and fall. Solar energy depends only on the sun (The Most Important Solar Energy Facts 2013).
Solar cells are the third most important source of energy after hydro and wind power. It is used in more than 100 countries all over the world.
Solar cell is a kind of electric device, which has an ability to convert energy of the sun or light directly into electrical power by means of the photovoltaic effect. The cells are produced form semiconductor materials. The process of generating electricity is very complicated. When heated by the sunlight, electrons lose their atoms and flow through the cells (Solar Energy 2013).
Solar cells often have different electrical connections and represent some kind of module itself. Special glass covers such modules in order to protect them from different environmental factors that can harm them, for example, rain, hail, etc. These cells are connected in one module in order to produce additive voltage.
The energy obtained from the Sun is usually received with the help of special grid-connected photovoltaic systems or inverters. Also special batteries are used in order to save energy, which is not used in the particular moment, but can become necessary within some time. Moreover, electricity obtained by solar cells can be used to recharge different devices or as the main source of power.
Solar energy may be used to recharge different batteries or to power equipment. They were first applied in space crafts and power orbiting satellites. However, nowadays they are widely used for grid connected generation of power. Also, they are applied for remote dwelling, in recreational vehicles, boats, and electric cars.
Solar cells can be installed on the rooftop or integrated into the building. They can also be ground mounted (when they are integrated in grazing and farming). These systems should follow the sun and maximize the time that they face it in order to receive as much sunlight as possible. For these purposes solar trackers are used. They provide 50% more sun energy in summer and 20% in winter (Muhs at al 2000). Additionally, sophisticated design is widely used in order to increase obtained electric power.
Solar energy resources (panels and cells) can serve for an extremely long time. These panels can be used for decades if they are installed correctly. Solar energy resources are extremely resistant to different natural disasters, for example, hurricanes, rains, and storms.
Effectiveness of implementation of this kind of energy source depends on geographic area. Position closer to the equator provides more sun energy. Every year Earth obtains an amount of solar energy which is twice as big as the amount of energy that could be obtained from all non-renewable resources such as oil, coal, and natural gas.
Solar energy can be available for the use of the human not only through solar cells. There are other different active and passive technologies. Solar thermal power plants concentrate the energy of the Sun as the heat source, which is mostly used for driving steam turbines which produce electricity and boil water.
Among the examples of implementation of passive solar technologies are house windows, which are installed on sunny sides for heating walls and flour, and absorbent plates on a roof used for heating tubes with liquids and supplying hot water (Solar Energy 2013).
Consumers are offered different financial incentives, for example, feed-in tariffs in order to motivate them to install solar systems and shift to modern environment-saving resources to decrease the dependence on changes of prices of non-renewable resources of energy. Further, such promotion creates new high technologies and jobs as well as it reduces environmental pollution. During last years manufacturing of solar energy generators has increased because of increasing demand. Their costs decreased accordingly. The average price of Watt has fallen from USD 3.50/watt to USD 2.43/watt. Solar power manufacturing increased by 2300 % from 1999 to 2008 and continues to rise (Solar History 2013). Therefore, it can be expected that in the nearest future the use of solar energy will be more competitive and admissible for a common inhabitant.
In the last years, scientists developed a new way to receive energy from the Sun: concentrate solar power. These systems use mirrors or lenses together with different tracking systems in order to focus large amount of light from the Sun into a small beam. After this, concentrated heat is heating different sources of concentrated power plants. Among the most developed concentrating technologies are concentrating linear Fresnel reflector, the solar power tower, parabolic trough, and the Stirling. Special technologies are used to obtain maximum possible sun light by tracking the Sun. After obtaining electric power it is used for energy storage or further power generating.
A lot of solar power stations have been already created in different countries and areas. The largest power plant is situated in the USA - the Agua Caliente Solar Project. Among others are German the Lieberose Photovoltaic Park, Senftenberg Solarpark, Brandenburg-Briest Solarpark and Finsterwalde Solar Park; Italian Rovigo Photovoltaic Power Plant; Ukrainian Okhotnykovo Solar Park and Perovo Solar Park; Lopburi Solar Farm in Thailand; Canadian Sarnia Photovoltaic Power Plant. Most of these plants have modern tracking systems that help follow the Sun' s path and produce more electricity.
Also, solar systems are widely integrated into buildings or mounted nearby on the surface. They can be mounted on roofs or walls of the existing buildings or they can be located on the separate areas and provide power by different cables. Building-integrated solar technologies are more expensive. They are usually used both in domestic and industrial structures as the ancillary or the main source of power. Solar cells are not used as the main power sources in vehicles. Usually, they provide only part of the necessary power, i.e. used as the additional source of energy. They can be installed in boats, airplanes, and cars.
Sun energy is also used for roadways. In 2008, the first American solar system was installed on the highway right-of-way in Oregon. This system provides almost for one third of electrical needs of the highway (about 104 kW).
Special solar panel was introduced in 2012. It can be plugged into electrical outlet. This panel senses main voltage and activates the inverter in five minutes. There is no shock hazard from touching the plug pros because solar panel shuts down immediately after lines of voltage are removed. One outlet can connect up to five 240 Wt panels.
Worldwide building of solar plants shows that governments all over the world already make preparations for future replacement of common resources by the sun energy.
Energy obtained from the sun can be stored for a very long period of time. After this energy has been generated by special equipment (panels or cells) during the day, it can be stored in different contraptions. These contraptions have an ability to store the obtained energy for several weeks. Therefore, the sun energy can be used freely for a long period of time without being replenished.
During last years, different studies concerning solar energy and the use of solar cells have been made all over the world. Scientists try to decrease the cost of solar technologies and increase their efficiency and effectiveness. New architectural designs are created for making this kind of energy competitive compared to other energy resources. Also, new materials which have an ability to absorb light are being discovered.
There are several advantages of use of solar energy for the industry purposes and at home. First, there is no pollution provided from the use of solar energy. The only possible pollution is evolved during the process of manufacturing of solar cells, their transportation, and installation. There is no noise form solar cells. Remote locations can obtain electricity without any problems because of their remoteness. Often, the installation of this energy source for remote locations is cheaper than installation of high voltage wires. The problem of finding special placement for solar cells is solved because they can be installed on the roofs of buildings. These cells provide free energy without any additional expenses. Therefore, the user becomes less dependent on the changes in the market of common resources.
However, there are some negative sides of using solar energy. The initial cost of solar cells is very high (about $ 1000 for one). Also, the electricity can be generated only during daylight hours (it is about half of each day). Weather changes can greatly affect the solar cells. During cloudy weather, less sun energy is received and less electricity is produced. Solar cells cannot be installed in heavily polluted areas, for example, in cities because their productivity is greatly influenced by pollution (Pros & Cons of Solar Energy 2013).
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The first step in our order system is to let us know the details of your paper by filling in our form
We provide direct communication between you and the assigned writer, which is highly encouraged
The only thing that is left for you to do is click the “Download a File” button so that you can finally get your hands on your final paper.
Solar energy is one of the most inexhaustible, affordable, and clean sources. It has a lot of long-term benefits. This energy can increase energy security of countries all over the world through reliance on an inexhaustible, indigenous, and one of the most important independent resources. The use of solar energy can enhance sustainability. It can also reduce harmful environmental effects and reduce water, air, and soil pollution. The costs of mitigating climate changes are lower than of other sources of energy. The use of sun energy can help people and governments to keep costs on fossil fuels on a low level.
The above investigations show that solar energy and different devices that help to obtain electric energy from the energy of sun (cells and panels) have been already used in different countries. Governments intensively develop projects related to solar energy. This is because this kind of energy does not harm the environment, does not require additional expenses in its use, and provides independence from the changes on the market of resources such as gas, oil, or coal. Energy of the sun is a renewable resource. It depends only on the sun. However, initial cost of such equipment is rather high. Moreover, its effectiveness depends greatly on the area and the weather.
It is evident that different studies would investigate and create new more effective ways to use sun energy and some day it will have an ability to replace non-renewable and harmful oil, gas, and coal. However, nowadays it can be used only as an addition to other resources in order to satisfy all needs of the society.
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