Solar energy is changing how we create and distribute electricity. Solar energy is the future. It is an unsurpassed source of clean, safe and renewable energy. While humans have historically relied upon the grid to get electricity, efforts are being made to reduce this dependence and increase use of solar energy.
In this article you’ll learn about the four major types of solar electricity.
- Solar Gain
Solar Gain can be a type that is taken for granted. Solar Gain (also called Passive Solar Gain), is the solar energy that buildings and other objects retain without additional equipment.
A simple way to increase solar gain is by painting water tanks dark black to maximize heat retention.
Passive sunlight gain is especially important in heating homes in colder regions. It can account for as much as 40% of the home’s heating needs. Passive solar gain can also be optimized by using heat-storing building materials and orienting windows to let in as much light possible.
- Solar Thermal
Solar Thermal is a type or solar energy that is produced using solar thermal panel. Solar thermal panels absorb sunlight, heat up, and transfer heat to a work fluid through tubes. The working fluid transfers heat to the desired point, such a swimming pool or building heating system.
Solar Thermal works using a conducting fluid. In the early trials, oil and salt were among the fluids tested. Molten salt was discovered to be the best fluid.
- Concentrated Photovoltaic Power
Concentrated sun power is created using mirrors to direct the sun’s light towards a central point. Through the central point, oil or another carrier fluid heats up to 400C.
Concentrated sun power is only effective in direct sunlight. You should only use them in areas with lots of sunlight.
Concentrated solar power is typically found in large-scale, renewable energy sources that supply electricity to the grid.
- Photovoltaic Solar
Photovoltaic photovoltaic was invented in the 1830s. Bell Laboratories was the one who created the first US solar PV panel. It was however made in the USA in 1954.
Photovoltaic Sun is made from photovoltaic cells. Photovoltaic cell convert sunlight into electric energy. They are found in calculators and watches. They are also used in the generation of electricity for houses that do not have a connection to a grid.
Photovoltaic is one of most used types of solar power. To increase their solar energy capacity, many countries use them.
The four main types of solar electricity are: concentrated solar power, photovoltaic and solar thermal. Each type has its specific uses and limitations. Solar energy is a cleaner option to traditional forms of energy, and it will continue to develop.