As the limited resources available on the planet Earth, get used up and become more difficult to find, mankind has turned to looking for sources of renewable energy. One such source is solar energy, which has always been a source of heat, but technology has been developed which allows this energy to be also converted to electricity.
Solar panels are mechanical devices that enable the heat and light from the sun to be converted into energy that is needed by mankind. You can have panels that transfer the heat from the sun to water or other liquids, which in turn can be used to cater for hot water requirements, heat swimming pools or even to heat homes and other living spaces. These panels are normally simple flat surfaces that arrange to collect the heat and enable its transfer where required. A new technology that has come around in the past ten years are solar shingles. Brinkmann Quality Roofing describes them as “It looks like a standard asphalt roofing shingle and has the ability to protect a home from the ravages of Mother Nature”. Solar panels can also be used to produce extreme heat, through concentration of the sun’s energy and can be used for cooking. Nowadays, these panels can be readily installed by solar companies, such as the Solar Panels Brisbane, for your convenience.
Photovoltaic devices convert the sun’s light into electricity, and these can be mounted in arrays on solar panels to produce electricity, which modern day living is so dependent on. The photo voltaic devices are made from highly refined silica. Though the raw material for this is easily available, the high cost of energy to ensure the required purity, is what has inhibited the greater use of electricity from solar energy. The efficiency of conversion is also low and remains an area of research.
Electrical energy produced through solar panels having photovoltaic units is direct current and needs to be converted to alternating current which most electrical devices use. This is done by inverters. The panels also work only during the daytime, requiring means to be found to store the power so created, for use at night. Solar panels have also to be correctly positioned so that they get the maximum advantage of the sun’s energy. This is very important in solar panels that are thermal devices and need to use the heat from the sun to help any required process.
Solar panels allow for an endless use as they rarely have moving parts, and the source of energy is free and renewable. An effort has to be made to keep capital costs of setting up such panels, low, as these can be quite prohibitive. Care has to be taken in orienting them correctly so that the full advantage is gained from the rays of the sun.
For information on solar panels as source of renewable energy, read here.