Solar Energy Project

Dhristi JEE 2022-24

Solar Energy

You must have seen wet clothes being kept in the sun to dry, do you know what energy is being used here? It is the heat energy from the sun that makes the clothes dry. The energy radiated from the sun can be used in many forms on Earth. The energy produced by the sun and received by Earth in one hour is strong enough to meet global energy needs for almost a year. Solar energy exists in two forms; humans can utilize heat and light, and both of them. Solar power can also cause chemical reactions and generate electricity. Harnessing and using Solar energy are some of the significant ways of achieving a clean future. As the green market is growing in many countries, Solar power’s share is also becoming a big part of sustainable development. 

 

If you have been asked to write a short note on solar energy or need solar energy information in English, this article is for you. Here we will give you a solar energy definition and also equip you with solar energy project information.

 

Types of Solar Panels

Solar energy can be converted into usable energy, and there are many ways of doing it to get heat, electricity, hot water, and even cooling buildings and industrial complexes. Solar panels are equipment that can absorb the Sun's rays and generate heat or electricity with it. The most common types of solar panels fit into three broad categories; monocrystalline, thin-film, and polycrystalline. These solar panels are different from each other in the way they are made, the cost involved in making them, their performances, appearance, and the kind of installation they are best suited for. Each of these panels has unique features and capabilities. Solar cells have semiconducting material that converts light into electricity. Silicon is used widely as the semiconducting material in solar panels.

 

Based on the types of installation you require, you can choose the best fit from these three explained below:

1. Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline Solar Panels 

The Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline Solar panels have solar panels made from silicon wafers. The wafers are assembled into rows and columns in both of these panels to form a rectangle. They are then covered with a glass sheet and framed together. The difference between these two panels lies in the composition of silicon used in each of them. To make a monocrystalline panel, a single pure silicon crystal is used. For a polycrystalline panel, fragments of silicon crystals are used that are melted together to form a mould and then cut into wafers.

2. Thin Film Solar Panels 

The thin-film panels are made up of different materials and not just silicon. CdTe or Cadmium telluride is the most common material used in making thin-film solar panels. Layers of CdTe are placed between transparent conducting panels. These layers help capture sunlight. A top layer of glass protects the panels. Thin-film panels could also be made from amorphous Si (a-Si) which are non-crystalline wafers sitting on top of glass, metal, or plastic. Another popular material used in thin-film solar panels is CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium Selenide).

 

Uses of Solar Energy

The use of solar energy greatly reduces long-term utility expenses like gas, electricity, etc. They are renewable energy sources that have applications in the following sectors:

  • Residential Application 

The residential applications comprise solar water heaters for heating water. This is achieved by installing a photovoltaic cell on the roof of the house which collects the solar energy to warm water. Solar energy is also used to generate electricity in residential complexes. During the daytime, solar energy is captured in batteries and used to supply power through the day and night. These uses of solar energy cut down energy expenditures greatly.

  • Industrial Applications 

The thermal energy from the Sun supplies power to warehouses, offices, and industries. Even radio and TV stations are being powered through solar energy. In aircraft, solar energy provides power to warning lights, and lighthouses also use solar energy.

  • Remote Applications  

Remotely situated places like schools, hospitals, buildings, and clinics can also benefit from the power generated by solar energy. Desalination plants also use solar energy instead of electricity.

  • Transportation 

Public transportation means like light-rails, buses, and trolleys use solar energy.

  • Pool Heating 

During the cold season, solar energy is used to heat swimming pools.

 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Energy Usage

Solar energy notes are not complete without talking about its miscellaneous advantages and disadvantages.

 

Advantages of Solar Energy Systems

  • A Renewable Source of Energy 

There is no way we can run out of solar energy. Solar energy can be applied around the world in many areas. Sunlight will be available to us for 5 billion years, as per the scientists.

  • Reduction in Electricity Consumption and Bills  

Since some of your energy needs will be met by solar energy, the amount of electricity you consume from other sources would decrease, which in turn reduces your electricity bills. 

  • Low Maintenance Costs 

All you need to do to maintain a solar system is to keep them clean. Most solar equipment from reliable manufacturers has 20 to 25 years of warranty. There is no wear and tear on a solar system since there are no moving parts involved in its working. 

  • It creates jobs as you employ solar panel manufacturers and installers, thereby helping the economy.

  • Solar systems are eco-friendly as there is no green gas emitted from them after installation.


Disadvantages of Solar Energy Systems

  • High Initial Cost 

The cost of purchasing a solar energy system is quite high initially. The various costs involved are the solar panel cost, batteries, inverters, wiring, and installation. 

  • They are Dependent on the Weather

On a cloudy or rainy day, it is still possible to collect solar energy, but its efficiency takes a hit. Since solar systems depend on sunlight for their power, less sunlight can bring down a solar system's performance. 

  • Storing Solar Energy is Expensive  

If solar energy systems are not used up right away, they need huge batteries to be stored. These batteries are used in off the solar grid systems and have to be charged throughout the day to use them at night. This is an expensive solution to make solar energy available during the night too.

  • Needs a Lot of Space 

Depending on the level of electricity you want to produce, solar panels would increase in number. These panels take a lot of space, and some roofs might not even fit in all the solar panels you require.

 

Solar Energy Project Information

There are many DIY solar projects that school students, as well as engineering students, can try on their own. Some ideas for solar energy projects are listed below:

  • Battery charger by using solar power.

  • Solar charging station.

  • USB charger using solar technology.

  • Scare mosquitoes with solar energy.

  • Solar lamp made with cardboard.


What Exactly Is Solar Energy?

Solar energy is one of the renewable energies and is described as the transformation of energy present in the sun. The majority of sunlight that enters the earth's atmosphere comes in the form of visible light and infrared radiation. Plants utilize it to turn it into sugar and starches, a process known as photosynthesis. This energy is converted into electricity using solar cell panels.


Benefits and Drawbacks of Solar Energy

The following are some of the benefits of solar energy:

  • Clean: It is regarded as the cleanest kind of energy since it emits no carbon dioxide, unlike fossil fuels, which is one of the causes of global warming.

  • Renewable: As long as the sun persists, there is an abundant supply of energy on Earth.

  • Reliable: Because the energy can be stored in the batteries, there is no concern about unreliability.

  • Utility bills will be reduced.

  • Because it is easily captured, free energy exists.


Solar Energy has the following drawbacks:

  • During the winter and on overcast days, productivity is poor.

  • Installation and the initial cost of supplies are both costly.

  • More space is being consumed.


Solar Energy Types

Solar energy is categorized into two types based on the manner of conversion and the sort of energy it produces. Passive and active solar energy are modes of conversion, as are solar thermal energy, photovoltaic solar power, and concentrating solar power.

  • Passive solar energy is the capture of the sun's energy without the need for mechanical means.

  • Active solar energy collects, stores, and distributes energy using mechanical devices.

  • Solar thermal energy is the energy produced by turning solar energy into heat.


Solar Energy Initiative

Solar energy - one of the simplest scientific experiments that you may prepare for your school fair science project is the experiment on the efficiency of the solar heating functioning model. This functional model is quick, easy, and extremely enlightening.


The outcome may differ if the project is carried out outside owing to wind and weather conditions, hence it is advised that the experiment be carried out indoors.


Use reflectors to concentrate solar radiation in one tiny area to gather and store heat energy in this solar heater project. The efficiency of solar energy will be demonstrated in this experiment.


Solar Energy's Important Applications

Solar energy is a renewable, limitless, and cost-effective source of energy. Solar devices are classified into two types: active and passive. Pollution may be minimized to some extent by using solar energy. One of the purest and clean kinds of energy. Heating, interior and outdoor lighting, transportation, and other uses are examples. Some of the other applications are as follows:

  • Solar energy applications in India

  • Solar energy is used to charge batteries

  • Cooking with solar energy Houses with solar energy


Solar Energy Applications in India

India is one of the most populous countries in the world, and because solar energy is environmentally benign, it is ideal. It doesn't emit any carbon dioxide. It is an unlimited energy source, making it a great substitute for nonrenewable resources. This energy may be used in rural regions for a variety of applications such as cooking, drying, electricity generation, and so on. Because electricity generation in India is expensive, solar energy is the most cost-effective option.


Solar Cooking Energy

It is simple to cook with solar energy. Cooking in a solar oven instead of a standard oven will save you money on your power bill. To cook in a solar box, you'll need a thermometer, an aluminum foil-lined box, pan duct tape, a cooking bag, and styrofoam insulation.


Industrial Solar Energy

Because of the utilization of heavy gear and equipment, industries need greater quantities of power. Solar energy may be used to provide power. It is also used to protect pipelines against corrosion. Solar energy will help you keep your electricity expenditures under control.


Battery Charging using Solar Energy

Batteries used to play video games, for example, can be charged during the day as a backup in case of power outages. You may also charge the reserve battery bank in the sunshine throughout the day and use it at night to conserve power.


Water Heater from the Sun

To replace traditional water heaters, there are two types of solar water heaters: active solar hot water systems and passive hot water systems.


Solar Panel

Solar panels are mostly used to generate power from solar energy. The photons that impact the solar cell lose electrons from their atoms, and the entire may be changed into an electrical circuit with the right attachment of conductors on the positive and negative sides of a cell. The movement of electrons across the circuit aids in the generation of electricity. A solar panel is made up of many solar cells, and many panels can be combined to form a solar array. Let us learn about the functions of solar panels and their practical use in real life in this session.


Solar Panel Applications

Solar panels are utilized in a variety of sectors depending on the need and need. The following are some of the applications for solar panels:

  • Solar panels may be utilized to provide power for the dairy industry's sterilizing, pressurization, concentration, drying, and boiler feedwater processes.

  • Solar panels can supply warmth for procedures such as sterilization, pasteurization, bleaching, and cooking in the case of tinned food.

  • Textile: The textile sector is heavily reliant on the widespread usage of solar panels for the effective use of solar energy. These are employed in processes such as bleaching, dyeing, drying, degreasing, pressing, and so on.

  • Paper: Heat is required for many operations in this sector, and solar panels are used to generate heat for activities such as drying, boiler feed water, bleaching, and so on.

  • Solar panels are employed in the chemical industry to generate heat, which is utilized in the manufacturing of soaps, synthetic rubber, processing heat, preheating water, and so on.

  • Beverages: We may envision solar panels being used extensively in the beverage industry for procedures such as washing, sterilizing, and pasteurization.

  • Solar panels are utilized in the timber industry in operations such as drying, thermodiffusion beams, pre-heating water, and pulp preparation.

  • Plastics: Solar panels are used to create heat for usage in processes such as preparation, distillation, separation, extension, drying, blending, and so on.

FAQs on Solar Energy Project

1. What is the Theory Behind the Workings of a Solar Panel and How are they Composed?

Solar panels are made up of materials (solar cells) that provide positive charge (borons) and those which provide negative charge (silicon, phosphorus). 

Solar panels absorb photons from the sun’s rays that initiate an electric current. The photons that strike the surface of solar panels generate energy which starts the following process called the photovoltaic effect:

  • Electrons are knocked out of their orbits and released into the electric field generated by the solar cells. 

  • These solar cells pull the electrons into a directional current.

  • The inverter converts the DC into AC.

  • This electricity produced can be fed into the grid or stored in batteries.

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2. What are Bifacial Solar Panels

Some solar panels can capture sunlight from both the front and backside of the panel. These are called bifacial solar panels. These types of panels can produce more electricity than traditional solar panels. Most bifacial panels have a transparent back sheet through which sunlight can pass and reflect from the ground to move back upwards into the solar cells that are on the backside of the panel. Most bifacial solar panels are made up of monocrystalline solar cells though a few do exist which use polycrystalline cells.

3. What are the disadvantages of Photovoltaic cells?

Disadvantages of Photovoltaic Cells:

Solar panels have poor efficiency when compared to other renewable energy sources. The sun's energy is sporadic and unpredictable, and it can only be harvested when there is sunshine. In addition, when the weather is overcast, the electricity output is diminished.


Long-distance solar energy transmission is inefficient and difficult to transport. The generated current is DC in nature, and converting DC current to AC current necessitates the use of extra equipment such as inverters.


Photovoltaic panels are brittle and can be readily damaged. Additional insurance expenditures are necessary to protect the investments.

4. What are the different types of Solar energy?

Solar energy is categorized into two types based on the manner of conversion and the sort of energy it produces. Passive and active solar energy are modes of conversion, as are solar thermal energy, photovoltaic solar power, and concentrating solar power.

  • Passive solar energy is the capture of the sun's energy without the need for mechanical means.

  • Active solar energy collects, stores, and distributes energy using mechanical devices.

  • Solar thermal energy is the energy produced by turning solar energy into heat.

  • Photovoltaic solar power is the energy produced by converting solar energy into electricity.

  • Concentrating solar power is a form of solar thermal energy that is used to produce solar power electricity.

5. What are the advantages of Solar energy?

The following are some of the benefits of solar energy:

  • Clean: It is regarded as the cleanest kind of energy since it emits no carbon dioxide, unlike fossil fuels, which is one of the causes of global warming.

  • Renewable: As long as the sun persists, there is an abundant supply of energy on Earth.

  • Reliable: Because the energy can be stored in the batteries, there is no concern about unreliability.

  • Utility bills will be reduced.

  • Because it is easily captured, free energy exists.

6. What are the uses of Solar energy?

Solar Energy Applications

  • Water heating: Solar energy is utilized to replace electric and gas heaters since it has a higher efficiency of 15-30%.

  • Swimming pool heating: Solar blankets are used to keep the pool warm. Another option is to use a solar water heater to keep the water warm.

  • Cooking: Solar cookers are used to prepare meals. The food is heated, cooked, and pasteurized using solar energy. A solar cooker is made out of a raised heat sink that allows food to be cooked thoroughly when placed within.

7. What is Solar energy?

Solar energy is defined as the energy generated by the sun in the form of radiant light, which is subsequently captured by humans using a number of technologies such as solar heating, photovoltaic cells, and so on. It has an infinite supply. Solar energy, for example, does not belong to anyone and hence is free. The quantity of solar energy received by the planet has been calculated to be 3000-50000 exajoules (EJ), which is significantly greater than the entire global energy consumption of 600 EJ.


A photovoltaic (PV) cell must have two essential characteristics in order to function:

  • Light absorption, resulting in either electron-hole pairs or electron-hole pairs

  • The separation of oppositely charged charge carriers.

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