Solar energy, which is what comes from the heat and light of the sun, is not just free, but its supply is endless. Not only that, solar energy causes no air or water pollution. It does indeed have some indirect effect through the photovoltaic cells. Many waste materials result from the silicon used in the process of the cells producing electricity from sunlight. And the large thermal plants are not totally without enviromental risk, since it has been found that they can harm desert ecosystems if due care is not used in their management. Agriculture presents solar energy with but one of many possible applications.
From the time of the Romans there were greenhouses, and the modern kinds were built during the 16th century throughout Europe. They are still a very essential part of horticulture. Uncanny methods of optimising the employment of energy supplied by the sun are also in use. Changing the synthetic lighting, the sun is used to illuminate the inside of the greenhouse. Provided that they are implemented correctly, daylight systems can reduce energy consumption related to light, by 25 percent. Usually in these systems you would discover a light shelf and a light tube, saw-tooth roofs together with skylights.
Water can be distilled by using solar energy, and it can also help to make salt water drinkable. Solar water disinfection, or SODIS, is the course of action whereby water is made fit for drinking, using plastic polyethylene terephthalate bottles that are brimming with the impure water. The time it takes for the process can vary, considering that it is weather-dependent, but it can be fairly long. It will require 6 hours minimum when the weather is good, but when it is overcast the time period lengthens to as much as 2 days. SODIS is currently being used to provide normal water for 2 million people in developing countries around the world.
Photovoltaic (PV) is used in the conversion of sunshine to electrical energy. It has been used a great deal for powering items that are modest to medium in size. For example, consider calculators, in which one solar cell provides the electrical power. Photovoltaic has furthermore been used to provide electricity for homes. The way in which solar energy is used the most is for heating water and also the rooms in a house. Solar air home heating and ventilation is gaining ground, at the same time. Of the three prevalent ways of capturing solar energy, solar cells is the most popular. Called photovoltaic or photoelectric cells, they change light directly into electrical energy.
Solar furnaces take advantage of mirrors to reflect as well as intensify sunlight and are capable of really high temperatures. Also called solar cookers, they are popular in incredibly hot countries for the preparing of food. Practically nothing is perfect, though, and there is certainly a downside to solar energy. It can not work when there is no sun, notably at night, and it is pricy to implement. However, once adequate energy has been stored it is unquestionably worthwhile.
Energy 101: Solar Power