Two hundred years ago, mankind has used for their livelihoods solar energy, wind and water. Today, the natural hydrocarbon resources are rapidly depleted, and humankind is acutely the question of where to look for new sources of energy.
Therefore, the last decades, the development of solar energy is especially relevant. World solar energy potential is extremely high.
Solar energy – it samovozobnovlyaemy and inexhaustible source for the production of electricity and heat. The kinetic energy of the Sun is trapped and accumulates in the form of potential energy.
Keep in mind that solar energy is supplied to the surface of the planet, in any point of its maximum intensity there. Therefore, to use solar energy in industry and in everyday life it is necessary to catch and concentrate. Also, no less important issue of its accumulation. For these purposes, scientists developed an arsenal of various technical devices.
Solar energy can be converted into electricity, both directly and indirectly. There are several ways to generate heat and electricity by using the sun’s energy:
· Photovoltaics – the basis of the method laid directly generating electricity by converting photons by means of photocells. Now photovoltaics is growing rapidly and is very likely in the near future will take a leading position in this industry. To implement this method, scientists are actively developing thin-film technology. To improve the quality of energy, solar cells are improved and semiconductor materials.
· Solar thermal energy. The principle of operation in this method performs the heating surface by absorbing heat, with its subsequent redistribution. It is an excellent source of heat for space heating and hot water. This occurs as follows: the light beam is focused on the water tank, heating it, water is fed into the heating system. In this type of power station has a special type of concentrating. The basic principle of operation is the concentration of sunlight, using a system of mirrors. The light beam here acts as a heat source that heats the working fluid, and the electric power is obtained by means of thermal machines.
· Hot Air power plants produces electricity by the air flow in the turbine-generator.
· The solar power generating steam balloon inside the balloon is heated at its surface.
Advantages of solar energy.
The advantages include full samovozobnovlyaemost this source and inexhaustible. It is completely harmless because it does not require any raw material and has no waste. Absolutely safe for the environment, and this aspect is particularly urgent in the modern world.
Disadvantages of solar energy.
The main disadvantage of this method is its dependence on the weather and time of day. Also, no less important season as heat production and consumption are not comparable. This type of energy is quite expensive, and the utilization of solar casts doubt on the sustainability. And acute problem of energy storage.
However, despite a number of shortcomings, solar energy is developing very actively. Scientists develop new technology and try to minimize the disadvantages. And the increase from year to year the share of solar energy in the total energy balance, once again proves the potential of this type of energy.