Sun energy is the energy derived from the sun. The use of solar energy is slowly gaining popularity in the world. Solar energy products such as solar lamps and solar water heaters are now being increasingly used. It is an environmentally friendly and clean source of energy.
Generation of Sun Energy
- 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.
- 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 mirrors 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 the 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 Sun Energy
- It is a cleaner and renewable source of energy.
- It can be used for various purposes such as producing electricity in areas that do not have access to the energy grid and distilling 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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