solar energy meaning

About half the incoming solar energy reaches the Earth's surface. ‘Now, solar energy is actually nuclear energy; it is radiation.’. Hence the additional costs of the incentives for early deployment should be considered learning investments; they must be wisely spent and need to be widely shared". [26] Although generally underestimated, solar water heating and cooling is by far the most widely deployed solar technology with an estimated capacity of 154  GW as of 2007. [59], Commercial concentrated solar power plants were first developed in the 1980s. [85] By 1995, passenger boats incorporating PV panels began appearing and are now used extensively. Energy derived from the Sun's radiation. Historically they have been used in arid climates or warm temperate regions to keep buildings cool by absorbing solar energy during the day and radiating stored heat to the cooler atmosphere at night. Some solar balloons are large enough for human flight, but usage is generally limited to the toy market as the surface-area to payload-weight ratio is relatively high. [48] It is recommended by the World Health Organization as a viable method for household water treatment and safe storage. These advantages are global. This is several times larger than the total world energy consumption, which was 559.8 EJ in 2012. The concentrated heat is then used as a heat source for a conventional power plant. The North American Solar Challenge and the planned South African Solar Challenge are comparable competitions that reflect an international interest in the engineering and development of solar powered vehicles. Molten salt can be employed as a thermal energy storage method to retain thermal energy collected by a solar tower or solar trough of a concentrated solar power plant so that it can be used to generate electricity in bad weather or at night. When duly incorporated, thermal mass maintains space temperatures in a comfortable range and reduces the need for auxiliary heating and cooling equipment.[31]. [5] Approximately 30% is reflected back to space while the rest is absorbed by clouds, oceans and land masses. The most common form of solar energy is harnessed by solar panels, or photovoltaic cells. It was demonstrated in the Solar Two project from 1995 to 1999. It can be used effectively with partially overcast skies and will typically reach temperatures of 90–150 °C (194–302 °F). The 250 MW Agua Caliente Solar Project, in the United States, and the 221 MW Charanka Solar Park in India, are the world's largest photovoltaic plants. The early development of solar technologies starting in the 1860s was driven by an expectation that coal would soon become scarce. Solar Energy 101. The salt melts at 131 °C (268 °F). Examples of solar energy in a sentence, how to use it. In all of these systems a working fluid is heated by the concentrated sunlight, and is then used for power generation or energy storage. Solar energy uses the sun’s light and heat to generate renewable or ‘green’ power. Solar energy is any type of energy generated by the sun. The design allows the aircraft to remain airborne for several days. Buildings within this container will not overshadow their surroundings during critical periods of solar access for passive and low-energy architecture. [40] Evaporation ponds are shallow pools that concentrate dissolved solids through evaporation. [12][13] Photosynthesis captures approximately 3,000 EJ per year in biomass. Biomass – energy from plants and other organic material– is also renewable. [101], Thermal mass systems can store solar energy in the form of heat at domestically useful temperatures for daily or interseasonal durations. PV converts light into electric current using the photoelectric effect. These advantages are global. [9] By photosynthesis, green plants convert solar energy into chemically stored energy, which produces food, wood and the biomass from which fossil fuels are derived. When electricity is needed, the hot salt is pumped to a conventional steam-generator to produce superheated steam for a turbine/generator as used in any conventional coal, oil, or nuclear power plant. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. A further environmental advantage is that algae grow in such ponds and consume carbon dioxide in photosynthesis, although algae may produce toxic chemicals that make the water unusable.[50][51]. In the United States, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems account for 30% (4.65 EJ/yr) of the energy used in commercial buildings and nearly 50% (10.1 EJ/yr) of the energy used in residential buildings. However, the use of photovoltaics that can follow the position of the Sun can significantly increase the solar energy potential in areas that are farther from the equator. Metal grills would allow a high percentage of sunlight to enter the mirrors and solar panels while also preventing most damage. [36] The simplest solar cooker is the box cooker first built by Horace de Saussure in 1767. It will increase countries' energy security through reliance on an indigenous, inexhaustible, and mostly import-independent resource, enhance sustainability, reduce pollution, lower the costs of mitigating global warming, and keep fossil fuel prices lower than otherwise. Using these methods, a hypothetical "cool communities" program in Los Angeles has projected that urban temperatures could be reduced by approximately 3 °C at an estimated cost of US$1  billion, giving estimated total annual benefits of US$530  million from reduced air-conditioning costs and healthcare savings. All figures given in Exajoules. [29][30] Solar heating, cooling and ventilation technologies can be used to offset a portion of this energy. [10], The total solar energy absorbed by Earth's atmosphere, oceans and land masses is approximately 3,850,000 exajoules (EJ) per year. Development of a solar-powered car has been an engineering goal since the 1980s. CSP systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. This is a big advantage that solar energy has over wind energy. [28] In the United States, Canada, and Australia, heating swimming pools is the dominant application of solar hot water with an installed capacity of 18 GWth as of 2005.[20]. Copyright © 2011. Solar energy is the transformation of heat, the energy that comes from the sun.It has been used for thousands of years in many different ways by people all over the world. Hence the additional costs of the incentives for early deployment should be considered learning investments; they must be wisely spent and need to be widely shared. The latent heat of water condensation amplifies convection, producing atmospheric phenomena such as wind, cyclones and anti-cyclones. The Solar Two project used this method of energy storage, allowing it to store 1.44 terajoules (400,000 kWh) in its 68 m³ storage tank with an annual storage efficiency of about 99%.[105]. [46] Individual still designs include single-slope, double-slope (or greenhouse type), vertical, conical, inverted absorber, multi-wick, and multiple effect. Solar induced chemical reactions can be divided into thermochemical or photochemical. [8] Sunlight absorbed by the oceans and land masses keeps the surface at an average temperature of 14 °C. This process, known as a PP (proton-proton) chain reaction, emits an enormous amount of energy. With grid-tied systems, excess electricity can be sent to the transmission grid, while standard grid electricity can be used to meet shortfalls. Wind is always there, and heat from below Earth’s surface(geothermal energy) is continuous. Passive solar techniques include selecting materials with favorable thermal properties, designing spaces that naturally circulate air, and referencing the position of a building to the Sun. See more. As sunlight shines on the balloon, the air inside is heated and expands, causing an upward buoyancy force, much like an artificially heated hot air balloon. Various techniques are used to track the Sun and focus light. It is then sent to a hot storage tank. [39], Solar concentrating technologies such as parabolic dish, trough and Scheffler reflectors can provide process heat for commercial and industrial applications. Powering the planet with solar fuel. noun. Hammarstrom L. and Hammes-Schiffer S. Artificial Photosynthesis and Solar Fuels. His plant used parabolic troughs to power a 45–52 kilowatts (60–70 hp) engine that pumped more than 22,000 litres (4,800 imp gal; 5,800 US gal) of water per minute from the Nile River to adjacent cotton fields. Solar definition is - of, derived from, relating to, or caused by the sun. Shuman built the world's first solar thermal power station in Maadi, Egypt, between 1912 and 1913. Aside from electrolysis driven by photovoltaic or photochemical cells, several thermochemical processes have also been explored. Als Sonnenenergie oder Solarenergie bezeichnet man die Energie der Sonnenstrahlung, die in Form von elektrischem Strom, Wärme oder chemischer Energie technisch genutzt werden kann. [106] Other approaches involve the use of two meters, to measure electricity consumed vs. electricity produced. Pumped-storage hydroelectricity stores energy in the form of water pumped when energy is available from a lower elevation reservoir to a higher elevation one. Socrates' Megaron House is a classic example of passive solar design. [90] The Zephyr, developed by BAE Systems, is the latest in a line of record-breaking solar aircraft, making a 54-hour flight in 2007, and month-long flights were envisioned by 2010. Besides, land availability has a large effect on the available solar energy because solar panels can only be set up on land that is otherwise unused and suitable for solar panels. [43] The short payback period of transpired collectors (3 to 12 years) makes them a more cost-effective alternative than glazed collection systems. The use of evaporation ponds to obtain salt from seawater is one of the oldest applications of solar energy. Radiant light and heat from the Sun that is harnessed using a range of technologies. [91] As of 2016, Solar Impulse, an electric aircraft, is currently circumnavigating the globe. Gray H.B. ‘During combustion, the fuel alcohol releases the embodied solar energy of photosynthesis and emits water and carbon dioxide.’. Greenhouses convert solar light to heat, enabling year-round production and the growth (in enclosed environments) of specialty crops and other plants not naturally suited to the local climate. Solar energy definition, energy derived from the sun in the form of solar radiation. [44][76] More recently the technology has been embraced by vintners, who use the energy generated by solar panels to power grape presses.[77]. “Affect” vs. “Effect”: Use The Correct Word Every Time, The energy the Earth receives from the sun, primarily as visible light and other forms of electromagnetic radiation. [94] A variety of fuels can be produced by artificial photosynthesis. The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Solar energy harnesses the sun's energy through the use of technology. Roofs are a suitable place for solar cells, as many people have discovered that they can collect energy directly from their homes this way. Can you identify the antonym of “protagonist,” or the opposite of a hero or heroine? Solar power is the use of the suns energy either directly as thermal energy (heat) or through the use of photovoltaic cells in solar panels and transparent photovoltaic glass to generate electricity. [52][53][54] The molten salt mixtures vary. This is less common due to the increased installation cost of the second meter. [95] The multielectron catalytic chemistry involved in making carbon-based fuels (such as methanol) from reduction of carbon dioxide is challenging; a feasible alternative is hydrogen production from protons, though use of water as the source of electrons (as plants do) requires mastering the multielectron oxidation of two water molecules to molecular oxygen. Quantitative relation of global solar potential vs. the world's primary energy consumption: Source: United Nations Development Programme – World Energy Assessment (2000)[4], Solar thermal technologies can be used for water heating, space heating, space cooling and process heat generation.[21]. Wind turbines need constant maintenance. All rights reserved. In some states of the United States legislation protects the "right to dry" clothes. solar power. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Figure 10.1. [79] Greenhouses remain an important part of horticulture today. It is a single-seat plane powered by solar cells and capable of taking off under its own power. UTCs can raise the incoming air temperature up to 22 °C (40 °F) and deliver outlet temperatures of 45–60 °C (113–140 °F). [22] In 1916 Shuman was quoted in the media advocating solar energy's utilization, saying: We have proved the commercial profit of sun power in the tropics and have more particularly proved that after our stores of oil and coal are exhausted the human race can receive unlimited power from the rays of the Sun. [104] Solar energy can also be stored at high temperatures using molten salts. [111], Commercial solar water heaters began appearing in the United States in the 1890s. (See photovoltaic effect.) Active solar energy involves equipment or an action to convert solar energy into a useful form. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Deciduous trees and plants have been promoted as a means of controlling solar heating and cooling. Most standard meters accurately measure in both directions, making a second meter unnecessary. Active solar energy involves the conversion of sunlight to electrical energy, especially in solar (photovoltaic) cells. [7], Solar radiation is absorbed by the Earth's land surface, oceans – which cover about 71% of the globe – and atmosphere. In 1980, the Gossamer Penguin made the first piloted flights powered solely by photovoltaics. [62] Although the prototype selenium cells converted less than 1% of incident light into electricity, both Ernst Werner von Siemens and James Clerk Maxwell recognized the importance of this discovery. In 1908 Shuman formed the Sun Power Company with the intent of building larger solar power plants. [38] Panel cookers use a reflective panel to direct sunlight onto an insulated container and reach temperatures comparable to box cookers. The potential solar energy that could be used by humans differs from the amount of solar energy present near the surface of the planet because factors such as geography, time variation, cloud cover, and the land available to humans limit the amount of solar energy that we can acquire. ", "Darmstadt University of Technology solar decathlon home design", "Row Spacing, Plant Population, and Yield Relationships", "The World Solar Challenge – The Background", "The sun21 completes the first transatlantic crossing with a solar powered boat", "PlanetSolar, the first solar-powered round-the-world voyage", "Artificial photosynthesis as a frontier technology for energy sustainability – Energy & Environmental Science (RS C Publishing)", "Solar Energy Project at the Weizmann Institute Promises to Advance the use of Hydrogen Fuel", "Request for Participation Summer 2005 Demand Shifting with Thermal Mass", "IEA Says Solar May Provide a Third of Global Energy by 2060", "Thermoelectrics: Direct Solar Thermal Energy Conversion", Online Resources Database on Solar in Developing Countries, Online resources and news from the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society, "Journal article traces dramatic advances in solar efficiency", List of countries by photovoltaics production, Copper indium gallium selenide solar cells, Photovoltaic thermal hybrid solar collector, Solar-Powered Aircraft Developments Solar One,, Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pages, Articles with unsourced statements from December 2016, Articles to be expanded from November 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Total global annual solar energy potential amounts to 1,575 EJ (minimum) to 49,837 EJ (maximum). These processes offset energy that would otherwise come from a fossil fuel source and can also convert solar energy into storable and transportable fuels. energy derived from the sun in the form of solar radiation. They can, however, be used on the east and west sides to provide a degree of summer shading without appreciably affecting winter solar gain. Water Desalination Although solar energy refers primarily to the use of solar radiation for practical ends, all renewable energies, other than Geothermal power and Tidal power, derive their energy either directly or indirectly from the Sun. The estimate found that solar energy has a global potential of 1,600 to 49,800 exajoules (4.4×1014 to 1.4×1016 kWh) per year (see table below).[4]. Urban heat islands (UHI) are metropolitan areas with higher temperatures than that of the surrounding environment. Solar projects exceeding 1 GW are being developed, but most of the deployed photovoltaics are in small rooftop arrays of less than 5 kW, which are connected to the grid using net metering or a feed-in tariff. It is an essential source of renewable energy, and its technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on how they capture and distribute solar energy or convert it into solar power. Development in the solar water heating sector progressed steadily throughout the 1990s, and annual growth rates have averaged 20% since 1999. See more. ‘Similarly, solar power can be harnessed where the regular supply of power is irregular.’ ‘Space harbors our best hope for future energy needs through solar power and other means that are available in space.’ ‘To help all houses to get insulation, solar power water heaters and energy … Other areas that are suitable for solar cells are lands that are not being used for businesses where solar plants can be established.[4]. [80] Ackermann and British physicist Sir Charles Vernon Boys,[citation needed] developed an improved system using mirrors to reflect solar energy upon collector boxes, increasing heating capacity to the extent that water could now be used instead of ether. Shuman then constructed a full-scale steam engine powered by low-pressure water, enabling him to patent the entire solar engine system by 1912. [78] The first modern greenhouses were built in Europe in the 16th century to keep exotic plants brought back from explorations abroad. These materials are inexpensive, readily available, and can deliver domestically useful temperatures (approximately 64 °C or 147 °F). How to use solar in a sentence. Generate Electricity 2. [48], Solar energy may be used in a water stabilization pond to treat waste water without chemicals or electricity. Data reflects assumptions of annual clear sky irradiance, annual average sky clearance, and available land area. If the net electricity use is below zero, the utility then rolls over the kilowatt-hour credit to the next month. Solar radiation is light – also known as electromagnetic radiation – that is emitted by the sun. [24] The most common types of solar water heaters are evacuated tube collectors (44%) and glazed flat plate collectors (34%) generally used for domestic hot water; and unglazed plastic collectors (21%) used mainly to heat swimming pools. Sonnenstrahlung ist dabei die elektromagnetische Strahlung, die auf der Sonnenoberfläche wegen ihrer Temperatur von ca. Solar energy for kids - look to the future. Chem. [26], The International Energy Agency has said that solar energy can make considerable contributions to solving some of the most urgent problems the world now faces:[1], The development of affordable, inexhaustible, and clean solar energy technologies will have huge longer-term benefits. Solar technologies are characterized as either passive or active depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute sunlight and enable solar energy to be harnessed at different levels around the world, mostly depending on the distance from the equator. They can be grouped into three broad categories: box cookers, panel cookers, and reflector cookers. Sunlight has influenced building design since the beginning of architectural history. Learn more: All the pros and cons of solar energy in 2020. Thermal storage systems generally use readily available materials with high specific heat capacities such as water, earth and stone. [96] Some have envisaged working solar fuel plants in coastal metropolitan areas by 2050 – the splitting of seawater providing hydrogen to be run through adjacent fuel-cell electric power plants and the pure water by-product going directly into the municipal water system. [45], Solar water disinfection (SODIS) involves exposing water-filled plastic polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles to sunlight for several hours. A solar cooling system collects solar power and uses it in a thermally driven cooling process which is in turn used to decrease and control the temperature for purposes like generating chilled water or conditioning air for a building. [46] The plant, which had solar collection area of 4,700 m2 (51,000 sq ft), could produce up to 22,700 L (5,000 imp gal; 6,000 US gal) per day and operate for 40 years. Source: Adapted from the NASA/SSE satellite dataset. Rev. Unabridged In 1699, Nicolas Fatio de Duillier even suggested using a tracking mechanism which could pivot to follow the Sun. [112] These systems saw increasing use until the 1920s but were gradually replaced by cheaper and more reliable heating fuels. [86] In 1996, Kenichi Horie made the first solar-powered crossing of the Pacific Ocean, and the Sun21 catamaran made the first solar-powered crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in the winter of 2006–2007. [25], As of 2007, the total installed capacity of solar hot water systems was approximately 154 thermal gigawatt (GWth). "The strength of solar is the incredible variety and flexibility of applications, from small scale to big scale".[114]. [71] Active solar equipment such as pumps, fans, and switchable windows can complement passive design and improve system performance. Learn more. [26] China is the world leader in their deployment with 70 GWth installed as of 2006 and a long-term goal of 210 GWth by 2020. Hence, experience with such systems exists in non-solar applications. When planted on the southern side of a building in the northern hemisphere or the northern side in the southern hemisphere, their leaves provide shade during the summer, while the bare limbs allow light to pass during the winter. This was quickly followed by the Solar Challenger which crossed the English Channel in July 1981. [33] Since bare, leafless trees shade 1/3 to 1/2 of incident solar radiation, there is a balance between the benefits of summer shading and the corresponding loss of winter heating. Fusion occurs when protons of hydrogen atoms violently collide in the sun’s core and fuse to create a helium atom. The energy from the Sun could play a key role in de-carbonizing the global economy alongside improvements in energy efficiency and imposing costs on greenhouse gas emitters. [75] Applications of solar energy in agriculture aside from growing crops include pumping water, drying crops, brooding chicks and drying chicken manure. [64] These early solar cells cost US$286/watt and reached efficiencies of 4.5–6%. [98], Hydrogen production technologies have been a significant area of solar chemical research since the 1970s. The first recorded instance of this was by 16th-century Arab alchemists. During the short growing seasons of the Little Ice Age, French and English farmers employed fruit walls to maximize the collection of solar energy. [42] Unglazed transpired collectors (UTC) are perforated sun-facing walls used for preheating ventilation air. New York, San Francisco, Milwaukee, Boston, Seattle - all of those cities experience inclement weather, from rain and fog to blizzards, yet they're also cities where people see huge savings by getting solar. [61] In 1931 a German engineer, Dr Bruno Lange, developed a photo cell using silver selenide in place of copper oxide. [89] Developments then turned back to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) with the Pathfinder (1997) and subsequent designs, culminating in the Helios which set the altitude record for a non-rocket-propelled aircraft at 29,524 metres (96,864 ft) in 2001. A wide range of concentrating technologies exists; the most developed are the parabolic trough, the concentrating linear fresnel reflector, the Stirling dish, and the solar power tower. [92], A solar balloon is a black balloon that is filled with ordinary air. The two main forms of solar energy include active solar energy and passive solar energy. It is kept liquid at 288 °C (550 °F) in an insulated "cold" storage tank. [4] Time variation effects the potential of solar energy because during the nighttime, there is little solar radiation on the surface of the Earth for solar panels to absorb. Noun. The energy from the Sun, in our personal timescale, never runs out. [109][110] Deployment strategies focused on incentive programs such as the Federal Photovoltaic Utilization Program in the US and the Sunshine Program in Japan. In photovoltaic power stations, they’re arranged almost edge-to-edge to capture sunlight in large fields. The creation and use of energy is one of the most important subjects for children to learn. Solar cooling is a system that converts heat from the sun into cooling that can be used for refrigeration and air conditioning. 13.1.22. Solar power is the conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), indirectly using concentrated solar power, or a combination.Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and solar tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. [72], Agriculture and horticulture seek to optimize the capture of solar energy to optimize the productivity of plants. [37] A basic box cooker consists of an insulated container with a transparent lid. Global mean solar resource (kWh/m 2 /day). Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic systems, concentrated solar power, and solar water heating to harness the energy. A protagonist is the main character of a story, or the lead. We have proved ... that after our stores of oil and coal are exhausted the human race can receive unlimited power from the rays of the Sun. Thermal mass is any material that can be used to store heat—heat from the Sun in the case of solar energy. The first solar cell was constructed by Charles Fritts in the 1880s. [60], Worldwide growth of PV capacity grouped by region in MW (2006–2014), In the last two decades, photovoltaics (PV), also known as solar PV, has evolved from a pure niche market of small scale applications towards becoming a mainstream electricity source. In 1987, when it was founded, the winner's average speed was 67 kilometres per hour (42 mph) and by 2007 the winner's average speed had improved to 90.87 kilometres per hour (56.46 mph). The oldest uses of solar energy is for heating, cooking, and drying.Today, it is also used to make electricity where other power supplies are not there, such as in places far away from where people live, and in outer space. Passive solar energy can be exploited through architectural design, as by positioning windows to allow sunlight to enter and help heat a space. Solar hot water systems use sunlight to heat water. solar energy definition: 1. energy that uses the power of the sun to produce electricity 2. energy that uses the power of….

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