From the beginning of time, we have been told the importance of the sun and how it is one of the largest sources of energy. Humans over thousands of years have been evolving and learning new ways to harness the power of the sun. Solar energy being the largest renewable source of energy makes it an excellent substitute for countless exhaustible resources.
So, what exactly is solar energy?
The sun emits and radiates two kinds of energy and those are heat and light. These together constitute what we today call “Solar Energy.”
As relatable as it can get, heat obtain from solar energy can be converted into thermal energy and the light emitted can be converted into electrical energy. Modern-day technologies have achieved solar heating systems, photovoltaic cells, thermal energy-powered plants, artificial photosynthesis and much more.
What is the relevance of solar energy during modern times?
Exhaustible sources of energy are depleting heavily urging humans to look for alternate sources of energy to meet the rising demand. India has seen a constant increase in the demand and application of solar energy. The Government of India has also taken steep measures to ensure this form of energy is well utilized and promoted throughout the nation. There are various subsidies offered to ensure a larger public drive.
2019 scenario: The government of India added 7,346 MW solar capacity in the Q1 of 2019.
2020 scenario: Though due to the pandemic, the demand and supply balance has been seen to dwindle, cumulative solar installations saw the rise of 36.8GW at the end of Q1 2020, which is HUGE! 32.2GW accounted for large-scale projects whereas roof-top took the 4.6 GW share.
2022 scenario: The government is on the route to escalating its solar plan aiming at a whopping US$100 billion in investment and 100GW of solar capacity by 2022.
The future of solar is superbly BRIGHT (Pun Intended)
Solar energy technology
Solar energy technology in today’s time can be broadly divided into various solutions such as solar photovoltaics, solar thermal, and solar electricity.
Solar Photovoltaic: They convert sunlight into electricity directly through installed semi-conductors. Electrons of the semi-conductor are freed by the sunlight. These then travel through the electric circuit producing an electric current. These kinds of systems are often seen in small devices like calculators, signboards, direction signages, etc.
Photovoltaic + Thermal technology: This technology is used to generate electricity and heat water using a single solar module. It is proven that PVT panels can enhance the overall electrical output by 20%. This is achieved by the PVT collector that cools the electrical components and at the same time provides thermal energy. They can give up to 4X power when compared to a normal PV module.
Solar Electricity: Solar electricity is produced by converting sunlight into electricity directly using solar panels. These systems generate direct current electricity and send it to the inverter. The inverter as the name suggests converts the direct current into alternating current and charges the batteries. These batteries store the electricity which can then be used to operate various electrical equipment at the night.
Solar panel > Inverter > Batteries > Use
Let us look at the advantages and dis-advantages of solar energy listed below: –
I now bring you quick examples of solar energy!
Not only is this technology acing the charts but is the best form of saving cost as well as reducing the carbon footprint. With a warranty of 20 + years, the roof-top solar cover its installation cost within a matter of 4-5 years. The market for roof-top solar is expanding day by day with top National and International brands setting the pace such as RenewSys and JinkoSolar
Solar Heaters and Solar Inverters
Solar heaters have gained popularity and are used increasingly in thermal pools, industrial thermal plants, and even in households on a small scale. Solar inverters again are one of the finest inventions to harness the power of the sun. They have an extensive industrial application. Top brands cater to these devices such as SMA, Polycab, Genesys, etc.
LED technology has changed the lighting solutions industry forever. Bajaj and Philips have taken the lead in making solar-powered lighting a game-changer. LED lighting saves costs to a great extent and is actively used in both indoor and outdoor installations.
Others include solar vehicles, solar cookers, and much more.
To sum it up…
The growth of the solar energy sector is increasing several folds quarterly. Making a switch to solar is not only the need of the environment but a more sustainable option from a business point of view. Ensure your industry is powered by the SUN.