Solar energy is a renewable and unlimited source of energy from which, directly or indirectly, other sources of energy on Earth originate. This energy comes directly to us, totally free and with no adverse consequences for our environment. Thermal energy is used for different purposes: home heating, water heating (in European countries is mainly used as additional energy source), or for solar power plants. There are various solar systems and solar technology in the world. In the text below, you can find some useful information about these technologies and solar products.
Solar technology and its use
The first modern photovoltaic solar cells are formed in 1956 at Bell Laboratories. The development of solar technology is changing very intensively in recent years, fueled by the strong market development. Many materials are used for the production of solar systems (silicon, gallium arsenide, cadmium sulfide, cadmium, and many others). There are also several technologies of PV cells. For now, the market is dominated by crystalline silicon cells, but in the future, thin films (layers) will be dominant.
There are three major types of solar technology:
- Photovoltaic (PV) – These solar technologies directly convert light to electricity, which can be stored, used, or converted for transmission. Photovoltaic panels can be manufactured from different materials and they are widely-used for solar systems all over the world.
- Concentrating solar power (CSP) –They concentrate sunlight, with reflective materials like lenses and mirrors, to generate thermal energy for electricity and electric turbines.
- Solar heating and cooling (SHC) – It generates thermal energy (by collectors) for space heating, home heating and water heating. Also, many people use SHC for cooling during the summer.
Today, many devices use solar energy to work, and every day scientists discover new solar products for industrial or home use. Here are some of the best known.
Solar panels – They can be of different designs, plate or tubular, but all of them absorb the energy of the sun and convert it into thermal energy or electricity.
Solar Inverters (or PV inverter, or Solar converter) – Solar inverter converts the variable direct current into alternating current, for commercial electrical grid or off-grid electrical network. There are 3 types: standard-alone converters, grid-tie inverters and battery backup inverters.
Solar Charge Controllers – Solar charger uses solar energy to charge batteries or to provide electricity to devices.
Solar Batteries – Solar batteries have a function to accumulate solar energy through solar panels. When there is no sun, you can provide devices and products with electricity.
List of solar products is huge, but here are some more interesting products:
- Solar cell phone charger
- Solar smartphone
- Solar air conditioning
- Solar backpack
- Solar cooker
- Solar dryer
- Solar lamp (for home, garden, etc.)
- Waterproof Dynamo Solar Flashlight
- Solar keyboard
- Solar pond
- Flexible Solar Module
- Solar boat
- Solar car
- Solar balloon
- Solar powered radio
- Solar powered fountain
Many households are already using some of these products, because they realize that these products are highly efficient and energy-saving. Forget the old technologies that use a lot of electricity, and begin to apply solar products and devices that use solar energy!
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