Solar Energy

Solar Energy is a cleaner and renewable source of energy. Solar Energy can be used for various purposes such as to produce electricity in areas that do not have access to the energy grid and to distill water in regions that have limited clean water supplies.


Generation of Solar Energy


Solar cells

  • Also known as photovoltaic cells, solar cells are made of thin wafers of semi-conductor materials from silicon and gallium. When the sun’s energy falls on them, electricity is generated.
  • Solar cells are widely used in calculators, electronic watches, street lighting, traffic signals, and water pumps.
  • A group of solar cells joined together in a solar panel can give a large amount of solar energy.

Solar Cooker

  • The solar cookers use solar heat by reflecting solar radiation with the help of a mirror onto a glass sheet that covers the black insulated box.
  • The raw food is kept in the black insulated box in the solar cooker. The box is insulated from the outside so that heat does not escape.
  • The heated box emits red radiation which is retained because of the opaque glass. As a result, a significant amount of the energy entering the oven is retained.
  • Of late, spherical reflectors are being used instead of plane mirror because the former has more heating effect and has greater efficiency.

Solar Water Heater

  • Water can be heated using solar energy. Sunlight is allowed to fall on flat plate collectors which are shallow rectangular trays filled with water.
  • It consists of an insulated box painted black from inside with a glass lid to collect and store solar heat.
  • In the box, there is a black painted copper coil through which the cold water flows. When the coil gets heated, the water too gets heated and flows into a storage tank.

Advantages of Solar Energy

  • It is a cleaner and renewable source of energy.
  • It can be used for various purposes such as to produce electricity in areas that do not have access to the energy grid and to distill water in regions that have limited clean water supplies.
  • Solar energy systems do not require a lot of maintenance.
  • It saves fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum and also reduces energy bills.

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Non-Conventional Sources of Energy

Non-conventional sources of energy are also known as renewable or alternative sources of energy. These resources have been developed in the recent past as an alternative to conventional or non-renewable sources of energy. Some examples are wind energy, solar energy, geothermal energy, tidal energy, and biogas. Non-conventional resources are known as energy resources of the future. Read more