Solar Energy Project

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. 

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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 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.

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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 mold and then cut into wafers.

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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).

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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 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 the 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 into. 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 which school students, as well as engineering students, can try on their own. Some ideas for solar energy project 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.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What is the Theory Behind the Workings of a Solar Panel and How are They Composed?

Ans: 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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Q2 What are Bifacial Solar Panels

Ans: 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.

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