Solar energy, light radiation and heat from the sun have been exploited from ancient times. Solar radiation, along with secondary resource of solar energy such as wind power and wave power, water power and biomass made almost of avaiblable renewable energy on earth. But only a very small fraction of the available solar energy is used.
Solar power means that generating power based on heat engines and photovoltaics. Nowadays, human beings have used this kind of power to applicate in various fields such as heating for space and cooling through architecture of solar energy, potable water distillation and disinfection, illuminated by daylight, water heater by solar energy, cooking by solar energy… In order to collect solar energy, the most common way is to use solar panels.
Technology of solar energy has 2 active forms, either passive or initiative depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute solar energy. Initiative solar energy technology includes the use of photovoltaic panels and heat collection solar energy to exploit the energy. And passive solar energy technology can be illustrated by the direction of a building with the sun, choosing materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing and designing space for air circulation naturally in that building to exploit heat from the sun efficiently.
Some very practical applications of solar energy for daily activities are shown as bellows:
Solar energy is obtained through thermal dish in parabolic shape will be used to cook food with high temperatures. The food pot is placed between one hemisphere that is coated mirrors to reflect and concentrate the sun’s rays into the pots. In order to maintain the temperature, they put a transparent nylon thermo bag surround the pot. Heat dish often must often be adjusted turned towards the sun to get the most sunshine. This application is used to cook food with large quantities and it is used in many places on over the world, especially China.
Cars using solar energy often be installed some solar panels on the roof. As for the solar cycle, the solar panels are fixed on driver’s shirt. These cars are mainly used for demonstration purposes and testing techniques. The drivers can monitor the energy consumption and mass of collected solar energy via gauges that are installed on the cars.
Today, in the world there are a number of salar racing, in which there are 2 relatively well-known competitions, the first competition is The world Solar Challenger was held in Australia with provisions of participants to overcome a long way 3,000kg across Australia. The second competition is The North American Solar Challenger that was first held in 2008 with races from Texas – United States to Canada.
The sterile water
The sterile water by using solar energy can be achieved by the solar receiver box including a wooden frame that is covered with a thin layer of black paint in order to concentrate heat from the sun. There is a jar to hold water inside. Heat gain from the sun will heat water to 65 degrees Celcius after a few tens of minutes and then the water will be sterile. Thus, a solar box can sterile about 4 liters of water for 3 hours.
Electrolysis phenomena can split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen, hydrogen can then be used as fuel. If the amount of electricity for electrolysis is provided from fossil fuels, the CO2 will be released into the environment, even if the phenomenon of electrolysis is performed by the cells of solar energy, there is no environmental pollution.
Some automotive manufacturing companies in the world are testing some engines that use hydrogen fuel. Hydrogen is stored in a tank that is located in the car. Then, a dynamic system will convert hydrogen into electricity to operate the car.
The sunshine will heat the air inside the tent and heat for those who sit on the ice to fish. Cold air block outside the tent and hot air inside the tent will be saved through the window.Some fishermen in Canada has designed fishing tents on the ice that are heated by the sun because they used reflection of the sun on the snow to get the desired heat. First, these fishermen sealed gaps in their tents by a little of tin foil, then they use 2 sheets of plastic to make 2 door wings and a little insect screens in order to cover 4 windows of the tent.
The aircraft in name of The Solar impulse with 12,000 photovoltaic cells on the wings is a sample of solar aircraft, the aircraft was flying round the world in 2012. Earlier in the month 4/2012, The Solar Impulse flew over the airspace of Switzerland for 87 minutes at an altitude of 1,200 meters.
The body of that aircraft is made from carbon fiber materials to achieve the lightest weight. Duration for manufacturing this unique aircraft is up to 6 years. With a wingspan equivalent to Airbus 340 (63.4 meters) and weighing 1.5 tons, this aircraft is equipped with four electric motors that can fly day dan night based on solar energy that is metabolized through photovoltaic cells and it is stored in the battery with very high performance. The maximum speed as designed is about 44 km/hr and a maximum altitude is 8 km.
Traffic lights use solar energy has the advantages that without the use of wires and quite flexible, they can save a lot of money for electricity in case of operation continuously for a long periods. They are designed with a LED bulb that is friendly to environment and they do not need to be recharged in a long time. In case of power failure, the traffic signal lights still continue to operate.
Just in the period from November to February every year, a small village – Viganella in Italy has gone to dark because the sun does not refer to the bottom of the valley where the village is located. In order to bring sunlight to the village, a giant mirror by metal with diameter of 8.5 m were installed on top of a mountain 1,100 meters in height on the Alps, this mirror is controlled by a computer to turn towards the sun and reflect sunlight into an area of bout 250 square meters in the centre of the village within 6 hours of the day with sunshine.
Sundial uses a sunlight or a shadow to indicate the time. To make the sundial, they cut a small hole and the sunlight will pass through that hole, or build a spike stick to make shadow. Face of the clock may be a plane or a hemisphere. The calculation of the vertical and horizontal axis as well as direction of the North will determine the accuracy of the clock.Sundial is the oldest application of sunlight. The oldest sundial is known today as Obelisks clock of Egypt (3,500 BC) and Astronomical clock in Babylon (1,300 BC).
Phone, music player… need to be recharged the battery and the battery charger can be implemented by a new device that is solar charger. This device has been attached a solar panel to integrate solar energy into electricity. The device is relatively inexpensive and very comfortable, lightweight, it recharges for portable devices when you stay at places where there is no mains. The larger device is, the higher capacity is. It can recharge for tablets, laptops and other mobile devices.
The solar boat with name of Planet Solar has been installed at HDW shipyard in Kiel, Germany is the biggest ship in the world and it is designed specially. This ship traveled around the world with speed of around 12 km/hr using only the electric motor that works entirely by solar energy. There are about 500 square meters of solar panels that are install on the ship in order to provide power for 2 motors in the hull
Solar bag is fitted with a small but powerful battery that is provided power by a solar panel with capacity of 1.5 Watt. Therefore the battery can recharge power for portable devices such as music players, cell phones… when the battery runs out of power, the solar panel will recharge but it need from 4 to 5 hours of direct sunlight.
Stadium using solar energy
Verona’s Bentegoldi Stadium is the largest sport complex in Italy where has been installed solar systems. More than 13,000 solar panels were installed in the stadium to provide over 1 megawatt/year of electricity for demand of the stadium, estimated to reduce CO2 emission of 550 tons/year.
Hot water on cars
It is install on the roof of cars, the hot water system can contain about 20 liters of water. This water is heated by solar energy. In a sunny day, the temperature will rise a few degree for 1 hour, it is enough to meet the demand of passengers.
Source: Solar Pulse