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How can solar energy be harnessed? Mention any two limitations in using solar energy. How are these limitations overcome?

Last updated date: 20th Jun 2024
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Hint: Solar energy is basically the radiant light and heat coming from the Sun that can be harnessed using a range of ever-evolving technologies such as solar heating, photovoltaic cells, solar thermal energy, and solar architecture. The limitation of using solar energy can involve the fact that the sun is available only during the day. We will study about this and will find a solution to overcome this limitation.

Complete step by step answer:
Sun is considered as a great source of energy. Solar energy is defined as the light and heat energy that comes from the sun. The energy received is free of cost, eco-friendly, and the greatest source of renewable energy.
We can harness the solar energy in various ways:
1. Solar thermal technology - In this, heat energy coming from the sun is utilized to make hot water or steam.
2. Photovoltaic cells - They convert sunlight directly into the electricity.
3. Passive solar heating - It is as simple as letting the sun shine through windows in order to heat the inside of a building.
The working of a solar cell to harnesses the solar energy:
A solar cell is defined as an electronic device which can directly convert the sunlight into electricity. The light shining on the solar cell produces both current and voltage, to generate electric power. This process requires a specific material in which the absorption of light energy can raise an electron to a higher energy state, and the movement of this higher energy electron from the solar cell into an external load circuit. The emitted electron then dissipates its energy in the external circuit and returns to the solar cell. Various kinds of materials and processes can potentially satisfy the above requirements for photovoltaic energy conversion, but we generally use semiconductor materials in the form of a p-n junction in all photovoltaic energy conversions.
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The basic steps required for the operation of a solar cell are:
1. The production of light-generated carriers;
2. The collection of the generated light carries to generate electric current;
3. The generation of large voltage across the solar cell
4. The dissipation of power across the load circuit, and the parasitic resistances.
Limitations of using solar energy:
1. It is available only during day time or on sunny days.
2. It requires huge installations and is very costly.
To overcome the above limitations of solar energy, we can use solar cell.To produce power, solar cells require daylight, but even if it's cloudy, we can make use of the solar panel system.

Note: Solar energy is the power obtained from the sun. It is a vast, inexhaustible, and clean resource of energy. Sunlight, or solar energy, can be directly for various purposes, such as, heating and lighting homes and businesses, for generating electricity, for water heating, solar cooling, and a variety of other commercial and industrial uses.