Solar energy is getting attention as an alternative to traditional energy sources. Solar energy is of great interest because it a clean, the energy is free and the equipment relatively inexpensive. Especially when compared to traditional energy sources.
Solar energy is harnessed using of solar panels. Solar panels are a device that gathers, concentrates and coverts the solar energy from the sun to usable heat. Solar panels have been greatly improved in the past few years. Research studies have focused on finding out more about using solar energy.
Besides having solar panels, to use solar energy you need a way to store energy. While solar panels gather up the sun's energy, they are not capable of storing energy. The sun is not available all the time, so it is critical to be able to store the energy for use when it cannot be gathered directly from sun.
This brings up the limitations of solar energy. While solar energy is a very promising alternative energy, it does have some problems that need to be solved. The major limitation is the ability to collect and store enough solar energy for the time when the sun is not available. Due to the unpredictability of cloudy weather, this has been hard to solve. The only solution so far has been to use another energy source to act as a back up when the solar energy is blocked by bad weather.
The biggest draw back to solar energy is that it is not available at night. Enough solar energy needs to be captured during the day and stored to last over night until after sunrise.
Solar energy is best used for heating because heating involves little energy conversion loss and makes the most direct use of the available solar energy. For home use solar energy is often be used to preheat water for hot water or to heat the house.
Converting solar energy to electricity is done with solar cells Solar cells can use only a small fraction of the available solar energy and requires a lot of energy storage to be useful.
As mentioned, research into solar energy is helping to expand its use. Improvements in technology are on the horizon and they will allow for greater use of solar energy.
It is obvious why people are so interested in solar energy. The sun is an available resource right now. It is renews daily and it does not harm the environment. Solar energy is clean and available to a large part of the earth’s population.
The use of large solar grids is something that may, one day, allow solar energy to provide energy to large populations of people, just as electricity and other energy sources are provided now.
The Sun can provide enough solar energy to satisfy the energy demands. This makes it an ideal replacement for traditional energy sources, unlike many other alternative energy resources that have been introduced.
The world's current energy resources are not going to last. Soon there will be no choice, but to find an alternative and solar energy is be one of the best choices.
Right now solar energy is one of the best choices to help us obtain energy independence.