Solar energy: a sustainable solution?
Energy sources play an important role in the current industries. Oil holds the first place in developed countries.
Note, however, that the consumption of various forms of energy causes pollution in many areas:
- Release of toxic gases into the atmosphere
- Destruction of forests
- Pollution of rivers, etc.
This is why scientists have constantly sought ways to limit or prevent such pollution while making good use of energy.
Even more than other commonly used forms of energy are scarce. The renewable energy therefore attract the attention of researchers, managers and other decision makers. Also, is it okay to mention the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy.
Solar energy can solve the pollution of the earth. Indeed, it reduces emissions of gases responsible for the greenhouse effect.
In addition, it has the advantage of being abundant, free and renewable because the sun is an inexhaustible source of energy.
For comparison, the radiation of the sun covering an area of a few tens of square kilometers to produce enough energy can meet the energy needs of hundreds of homes.
Unlike other energy sources, electricity from the sun is very easy to implement. No need for complicated device.
A single solar panel, for example, will have electricity at lower cost.
The solar cells used in spacecraft are convincing evidence of the use of the energy produced by the sun. It was found that this was sufficient to power these devices and lasted for a considerable period.
In the 1990s, it was even made cars powered with solar energy.
Over time, we could achieve more efficient techniques for the recovery of heat from the sun.
We managed to have high temperatures by concentrating the sun’s rays, like a magnifying glass that burns a sheet of paper placed below the latter when the sunbeams hit the point of convergence.
A similar method can be used to converge the solar rays on a defined area. For this, one uses curved mirrors. The heat thus received can be used in various fields.
Despite the considerable advantages it offers, some problems remain regarding solar energy.
A major problem lies in the nature of diffuse sunlight. On the one hand, the light scattering in all directions, the larger the collector is small, less heat is received. On the other hand, the power source is not constant because of the rotation of the planet.
Sunlight is not always available at the right time. Sunset and clouds are situations that prevent the production of photoelectricity. When the sun stops shining, the devices that depend on this energy source does not work.
Although it is very easy to capture energy directly from the sun, another drawback is its conservation during the night.
Should find a way to store that energy. A simple and effective way to do this is to accumulate electricity in batteries.
However, troublesome and expensive batteries are necessary to meet the demands of a household of average size.
Another technique for accumulating solar energy to raise the temperature of the water during the time, when the sun is shining and set aside in tanks that thermally isolated. The water can be used at night.
Another approach is to circulate the water that has been heated through a main heater.
It has previously taken the time to complete it by an auxiliary heater in case of bad weather. This approach reduces gas consumption.
Photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight into electricity are still problems. Why? For the simple reason that some toxic elements used in their composition. However, the decomposition may take centuries.
The production of solar energy
Consider, in a simple, two ways to generate electricity from the sun.
The sunlight can be used for heating a liquid which is converted into steam.
The latter will operate a turbine.
The studies indicate that a surface area of about 13 to 18 km² can capture the sun’s rays could power a steam power plant capable of providing the necessary power thousands of homes.
Having this idea in mind, it would be practical to build solar power plants .
Capture the sun’s rays is a relatively simple thing. In a method that implements a window, quite high temperatures can be reached.
The future may subject us many surprises in terms of our energy consumption is increasing.
The oil will probably continue to be used and demand could increase exponentially.
Other energy sources such as wind, geothermal, water, hydrogen, nuclear energy, natural gas, coal, wind has advantages.
But the adverse effects on the environment are not to be minimized. Coal is one that is among the most fossil fuels at the same time, it releases too much carbon.
Oil reserves decline globally. The amount of natural gas is difficult to quantify. Methane is one of its components.
It is known that methane causes the greenhouse effect. As for nuclear energy, it is not safe. It has to demonstrate what happened in Japan during the Fukushima nuclear accident.
The oil producing countries will continue to impose price. Industrialized countries will consume more energy.
Nevertheless, the solar energy can be an alternative.
Of course, this will require investment in research and the development of various techniques.
But we learned already to appreciate and use responsibly the natural resources . The sun provides us with considerable energy.
So far, humans have not yet exploited all this capacity.