Solar Energy Facts that Will Stun You 2019
Posted on June 26 2019
With the ever expanding solar energy market, it is very important for us to understand this technology and how it works. Solar power, in simple terms, is a basically the power that we get from the blazing sun above us, and harvesting that power is what many scientist are trying to do more efficiently than ever before. At SUAOKI we have a wide variety of portable, compact, highly efficient and bendalbe solar panels.
The Sun. via enjoythescience
Given bellow are some of the most astonishing facts that you will read about solar energy; so sit tight and get started with the following list.
General Facts Solar Energy
- Solar energy comes from the conversion of sunlight or heat from the sun into a usable energy source for humans. The raw material for this source of energy is the Sun's natural energy. Nuclear fusion energy is the primary source of all the energy that the sun is producing. The core of the sun fuses about 600 million metric tons of hydrogen each second.
- We can now convert the energy coming from the sun, in the form of heat and light, into usable electrical energy for our homes, offices, and industries. These days solar energy is harnessed via photovoltaic (PV) cells, solar thermal energy plants, natural photosynthesis, and artificial photosynthesis.
- Solar energy is a completely free and abundant source of energy that shall be available for the next couple of billions of years ahead. The best part about solar power is that harvesting it is 100% environmentally safe and friendly.
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- The Sun is million miles away from our Earth; it takes about 8 minutes for sunlight to reach our planet, and a few seconds for the PV cells and solar thermal plants to convert it into usable electrical energy.
- In the United States, the average cost of per watt of energy generated from residential PV cells in 2010 was USD 7.34 and in 2018 it was USD 2.70 - that is a massive price decrease of 63.2%; and in the same time commercial PV cells dropped 66.3% in price. In 2017, the USA's solar power generation capacity was at 32-gigawatts.
via. National Renewable Energy Laboratory
- Although solar power is being used by humanity since the beginning of time - consider getting heat from the sun to warm your body, however, harvesting solar energy via PV cells was the invention of Alexandre Edmond Becquerel in 1839.
- In the USA, solar panels are faced towards the south, and in Australia solar panels face the north direction. This is all because we want the solar panels to be directly facing the sun.
- Most of the modern commercial solar modules use silicon crystals to attain the photovoltaic effect and generate electricity. These solar cells have been around the 15-22% efficiency mark in the last two decades.
- The productivity of a solar panel decreases with age at a rate of about 0.5% to 0.8% per year.
- As a general rule of thumb, a solar panel will last for about 20-25 years. Solar panels would still work for many years after this benchmark of life span; however, around the above mentioned time, the productivity of a solar panel reduces to about 80% of its originally rated power, and thus is considered to have significantly lost its production capacity.
Solar Energy and Our Environment
- Solar panels are not a 100% green source of energy. The methods used to manufacture solar modules and its recycling process is the hindrance for current commercial PV cells to get the 100% rating on the green energy scale.
- If we neglect the manufacturing and recycling process of photovoltaic cells, solar power is a completely green, clean, and sustainable source of renewable energy.
- Solar photovoltaic cells do not produce any sort of pollution at all during the energy conversion process; not even noise pollution that is a major problem for water-dams and windmills.
- Solar thermal energy can be stored in high-specific heat objects such as stones, water, and especially molten salts. The heat from these materials can then be used later when the sun is not up.
- Ideal working temperature for PV cells is 77°F (25°C). Temperatures above this mark do not mean that the cell would work more efficiently, rather the efficiency decreases with increase in temperature. So when installing solar cells, always keep enough room beneath the modules for air circulation.
Solar Energy in Outer Space
I. Spacecraft in the inner solar systems rely on photovoltaic cells to generate energy for them to operate.
II. The International Space Station (ISS) also uses solar energy from PV cells to power up everything aboard.
III. Space grade solar cells are up to 46% efficient and extremely lightweight; compared to conventional terrestrial grade solar panels which are much heavier and are only about 22% efficient. Spacecraft in the outer solar systems rely on radio-isotopic thermoelectric generators (RTGs).
International Space Station (ISS) using PV cells. via esa.int
IV. Typical solar satellite cells are made of Gallium arsenide; they offer higher efficiency and degrade at a slower rate as compared to the silicon solar panel for household use.
V. At any given moment the sun emits about 386,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 watts of energy, keep converting it in how much energy in one day and a year :D
Excited to learn more about solar energy? Continue reading our blogs about Top 10 Most Efficient Solar Panels 2019 and How Much Solar Power Do you Need? Confused about anything? Got some questions? Don't worry, just leave us a comment below and we will help you with your queries.