What is in Solar

What is in Solar

What is in Solar
Solar is a safe, renewable form of energy.

What is in solar is the use of crystalline silicon in panels to convert the sun’s rays into electrical energy.

Solar is a safe, renewable energy source. is relatively consistent, and powerful. This energy can be utilized to provide power for electrical applications.

These electrical applications can provide heat for cooking, light, heat for the home or office, and air conditioning.  It can also be used to power appliance usage throughout a home, office, factory, or other buildings.

Really, anywhere that electricity is needed, solar energy can provide the needed power.

I will go over it’s history, and how and why it was developed.

I will tell you how solar energy works, and how it is utilized to provide the needed capacity for the electrical needs of your home,  office, and places you visit.

I will explain why it may or may not be preferable to conventional means of providing power.

The History of Solar Energy
What is in Solar
Harnessing the sun’s rays to benefit man has gone on for thousands of years.

As early as the 7th century BC, yes I said BC, humans have used solar to create energy.  It was discovered that during this time,  humans made fire by with the utilization of the sun through a magnifying glass.

These fires created with the sun were used primarily for cooking food.  A little later, in the 3rd century B.C., the Greeks, and Romans used mirrors that concentrated the sun’s rays to make fire, as well.

However, the Greeks and Romans used this primitive technology to light torches for religious ceremonies in addition to providing fire for cooking food.

In the 1700’s, heat traps were invented by using the heat from the sun’s rays directed to a series of glass boxes, also called hot boxes.

This sun generated heat was used to boil water for cooking, and to provide heat for interior spaces. These hot boxes are considered to be the first solar collectors in the world.

The credit for inventing solar as we know it today,  is given to a French scientist by the name of Edmond Becquerel in the year 1839.

At the age of just 19, he discovered that electricity can be generated by shining light from the sun on an electrode immersed in a solution in order to conduct and create an electric current.

This is called the photo voltaic effect.  The photo voltaic effect is the generation of voltage occurrence in a given material when it is under light exposure.

The effect was observed by Becquerel in an electrolytic cell that was made out of two platinum electrodes stationed in an electrolyte.  Silver chloride was placed in an acid solution.

He observed that the electric current was enhanced in the cell by shining light upon it.

In the 1860’s the French believed that coal resources were limited, and were motivated to develop a solar energy collector that was used to power and create steam.

Due to the high costs of this research and development, and the realization that coal was in ample supply, the project was abandoned.

In 1905 Albert Einstein published a paper that explained the photoelectric effect or photons, showing that light energy is being carried with quantified packages of energy. In 1921, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.

The actual development of real photo voltaic devices as we now know them took place at the Bell laboratories in 1954.  During this time Bell Telephone labs produced a silicone based solar cell with a light to electricity conversion efficiency of 4 percent.

This conversion efficiency was increased to 11 percent a short time later. Later in the decade of the 1950’s, several other corporations developed silicone based solar cells that were used to generate power for earth orbiting satellites.

The proliferation of space technology in the late 50’s and early 60’s drove the development of photo voltaic technology.  In 1962 Bell Telephone labs launched the first solar powered telecommunications satellite.

In 1978 Sharp Electronics in Japan developed the first solar powered calculator.

It’s power, efficiency and usage has continued to grow at a fast rate over the past decades, and has taken it’s place as one of the largest alternative energy producers in the world.

How Solar Works
What is in Solar
Solar is a technology that converts sunlight into direct current electricity by releasing electrons using semiconductors.

Solar energy is a truly remarkable technology.  But how does it use the sun to turn it’s rays into a form of electricity that we can use in our everyday lives?

Solar energy companies use panels that are placed in various places, such as on a home’s roof, or on a separate base that is close to the building that is strategically situated to optimize the effect of the sunshine.

These panels use the sun’s rays by absorbing them, and converting the resulting solar energy into electrical energy.  This energy is then stored, and utilized to provide electricity when, and as needed.

Solar panels are made up of smaller units called cells.  Most of these  cells consist of silicon.  Silicon is the second most abundant mineral in the world, and is used as a semiconductor.

Crystalline silicon is placed between layers that are conductive in a solar cell.  Each silicon atom has four durable bonds that it uses to connect to it’s adjoining atoms.   This prevents current flow by keeping the electrons stationary.

Two different layers of silicon are utilized in a solar cell, and this is of optimum importance.  Extra electrons are provided by an n-type silicon.  Extra spaces or holes for electrons are provided by a p-type silicon.

A p/n junction is created where these two types of silicon connect, which allows the electrons to travel across.  This creates a positive charge on the one side, and leaves a negative charge on the other side.

Solar Energy versus Conventional Energy
What is in Solar
Nuclear generated power is the most common conventional energy producing method.

There are now various forms of alternative energy sources with solar energy at the forefront.  Other forms of alternative energy sources include wind power generated by wind mills, geothermal power, biomass, wave energy, and others.

Conventional energy is normally generated by nuclear power, and by hydroelectric power.  There are also other forms of conventional energy, such as by coal.

Nuclear power is created by the reaction of nuclear fission.  This process produces heat which generates electrical energy.

Nuclear power is a clean, efficient, and cheap form of energy.  It does, however, have some obvious serious drawbacks.

Nuclear accidents, such as the one at Chernoble in Russia caused much death, and suffering, and caused many people to demand a stop to using this form of energy.

The United States alone has 99 nuclear power plants, and although extreme safety measures are taken, the threat of another nuclear accident is possible, and it’s potential devastation may have far reaching effects.

Harmful radiation, nuclear waste, and the threat of another nuclear power plant explosion renders nuclear as by far the most dangerous form of energy, and in many people’s opinion, not worth it’s positive benefits.

To this point, very few deaths can be directly attributed to nuclear power plants. However, it’s potential for massive death, and destruction is still very real.

Solar energy, in comparison, costs more money to produce, and it takes up much more land mass to create it’s power than does nuclear power.

Solar is also considered a renewable source of energy, whereas nuclear is tagged as a less preferable sustainable source.

Hydroelectric power or hydropower is derived from turbines within dams that are driven with water.  This represents a very stable and reliable form of energy.

Solar, on the other hand, is only able to create energy when the sun is out.  Solar also provides optimum power in the middle of the day, and less early, and late in the day.  When the sun is down, no more energy can be created and stored.

Hydro power is less expensive than solar power. Both hydro, and solar are renewable energy sources, which is superior to other forms of energy generation.

What is in Solar – Conclusion

What is in solar is a consistent, powerful source that can easily be converted into energy. This energy can be utilized to provide power for electrical applications.

As early as the 7th century BC humans have used solar to create energy.

The credit for inventing solar as we know it today,  is given to a French scientist by the name of Edmond Becquerel in the year 1839.

At the age of just 19, he discovered that electricity can be generated by shining light from the sun on an electrode immersed in a solution in order to conduct and create an electric current.  This is called the photo voltaic effect.

Solar energy is a truly remarkable technology.  But how does it use the sun to turn it’s rays into a form of electricity that we can use in our everyday lives?

Solar panels are made up of smaller units called solar cells.  Most of these solar cells consist of silicon.  Silicon is the second most abundant mineral in the world, and is used as a semiconductor.

Solar energy is more expensive than nuclear energy.  Solar is however, a much safer, and a more renewable form of energy than nuclear.

Solar power is also a more expensive form of power than hydroelectric.  Solar is also somewhat less stable than hydro.  Both hydro, and solar are renewable forms of energy.

Recent developments in solar energy include the use of glass or windows as solar panels, and the decrease in size, and a resulting increase in effectiveness of solar panels.

What is your favorite form of energy?  Please leave your comments, and questions below. Please also feel free to like and share on social media by using the buttons below.  Thank you for reading, What is in Solar.