When you hear about solar energy technology you might have a number of ideas on your head right away. There are a lot of great things that can be done when solar energy is used. For example, most homes could get their electricity from solar energy systems. Not only is solar energy technology good for the environment but it is also very cost-effective. So let’s take a closer look at some of the different ways that solar energy technology is being used today.
Most people believe that solar energy technology is limited to producing electricity at a cost that is too high. The benefits of solar energy technology definitely include that it is a very sustainable alternative to regular fossil fuels. While regular fossil fuels have an expiry date that can be fast approaching, the sun’s going to be out for at least some billions of years into the future. Solar power has a much lower impact on our environment than regular fossil fuels do. This is what makes this kind of technology one of the types of eco-friendly technologies.
Concept of solar cells
The first solar energy technology was developed was using the concept of solar cells. Photovoltaic cells are the modern-day equivalent of the wafers that you would put on your windows in the kitchen in the early ages. The first solar cells were made from materials that had a high conductivity level.
These materials were perforated so that the electricity that was created would be flowing in the direction that was perpendicular to the rays of the sun. This had the great advantage that the electricity had an easy time of reaching the diodes. Unfortunately, this method of creating electricity at a low efficiency had some serious drawbacks. The diodes were not efficient enough to produce large amounts of electricity per watt-hour. This meant that the number of fossil fuels needed to produce the electricity needed was very large indeed.
There was one last way that man was able to create solar energy at high efficiency. This involved materials that having a high thermal conductivity level. The way that this worked was that these solar energy panels would be lined up in a row. The rows of solar panels would each have thin layers of crystalline silicon installed on them. When the light from the sun hit the crystalline layers it generated electricity. This was the last solar energy technology that we used in the real world and the one that was eventually abandoned in favor of the more efficient systems that we use today.
Modern-day solar energy technology
Advances in modern-day solar energy technology have brought us to the point where we are now able to harness a very high amount of solar energy directly from the sun. This renewable energy efficiency is able to work for us in two very distinct ways. The first is the ability to capture the heat energy from the sun and convert it into electricity. The second is the fact that we can use the same heat energy to drive a turbine generator. This allows for even more electricity to be created with the same amount of energy input as what we would have if we used the more traditional methods of solar energy.
Grid-tied solar technology
If we were to incorporate both of these efficient solar energy technology systems into our homes we would allow a man to live off the grid. In addition, we would greatly benefit economically and the environment by cutting down or eliminating our dependence on foreign oil or natural gas. The payback period of this type of renewable energy system in the highway service area would reach an effective operation period of around thirty years or more. The payback period on our new solar water heating systems would be even longer.
This kind of grid-tied solar technology is not just some pie in the sky dream any longer. They are now a fact and are being utilized by millions of people all across the country. This new technology is only the beginning of the way we will be able to tap into the unlimited energy resources that lie within the earth’s crust. Many people are still uncertain as to how they will utilize these free and clean energy sources to power their homes, vehicles, and lives. The more we learn about solar technologies and the advantages they provide the more convinced they will be.