Advantages and disadvantages of solar energy

The solar energy is the energy obtained through solar radiation that reaches Earth. It is considered a clean and renewable energy since the Sun is an unlimited resource.

Next we will know the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy.

Solar energy
DefinitionIt is the energy obtained through solar radiation that reaches the Earth
Advantage-Renewable and non-polluting energy.
-Ecological -Does
not produce waste
-Less impact on the environment
-It is reusable
-It is adaptable and democratic
-It reduces the use of fossil fuels
-Diversity of applications
Disadvantages-High initial investment cost
-Depends on certain factors such as weather or hours of sunshine
-Variability of sunlight
-Lack of information and technical support

What is solar energy?

The solar energy is that energy contained in radiation from the sun. It is a type of renewable energy and produced by nuclear fusion reactions in the sun . This radiation travels to Earth through electromagnetic radiation and can thus be harnessed.

This type of energy can be used in two ways, through thermal conversion or photovoltaic conversion.   The first of the options consists of transforming solar energy into thermal energy, and the second of the ways is the one in which this energy emanated from the Sun is transformed and converted into electrical energy, electromagnetic radiation is collected by different means such as : thermal collectors or photovoltaic cells.

Solar energy is essential for our planet since it is an energy resource considered renewable , so it would lead us to be able to reduce consumption and dependence on fossil fuels that are highly polluting. In addition to reducing pollution, it also reduces environmental impact and promotes sustainable development. This type of energy from the Sun has been used by human beings since ancient times.

How is it produced from solar energy?

As we detailed, solar energy can be used in the form of thermal energy or in the form of electrical energy for later consumption.

Through the solar panel, solar radiation is captured and transformed into useful energy. These solar panels can be of different types depending on the mechanism chosen for the use of this solar energy. These mechanisms can be:

-Through solar thermal collectors: solar thermal energy

-Through photovoltaic solar panels: photovoltaic solar energy

-Without any external element: passive solar energy

Types of solar energy

There are different types of solar energy depending on its origin and its processing:

Photovoltaic Solar Energy

This type of energy is one that takes advantage of the sun’s radiation to be able to transform it into electricity. This process is carried out by means of semiconductor panels that have silicon cells that transform the light and heat emanating from the sun into electricity. In the same way as solar thermal, these solar panels or panels can be installed at the domestic level in buildings and houses, as well as in large facilities. This type of energy is the most developed source today.

Thermal solar energy

Solar thermal energy or also known as thermosolar is that which uses solar heat to generate hot water for domestic consumption (heating, cooking, sanitary use, among others).

Concentrating solar thermal energy

This type of energy is one of the forms of solar thermal energy that uses mirrors to concentrate sunlight on a small space. This concentrated sunlight is transformed into heat and electricity is generated from here.

Hybrid solar energy

Hybrid solar energy is one that combines two energy sources to generate electricity through hybridization. A clear example is photovoltaic solar energy with fossil fuels.

solar wind energy

This type of energy is one that takes advantage of the air heated by the sun to generate electricity.

Advantages and disadvantages of solar energy

The solar energy has many benefits   and are increasingly positive aspects of this energy and the need to replace the use of fossil fuels are non – renewable power generation. Let’s see what the main advantages are:

-As main advantage we can say that solar energy is renewable and therefore it is not polluting. Although there are more types of renewable energies such as wind or hydro, energy from the sun has gained popularity as it is one of the easiest energies to produce and has generated access to green energy sources.

-It is an ecological energy , an inexhaustible source since the sun will always be present.

-The generation of this energy does not produce waste , unlike nuclear energy and fossil fuels.

-It has a lower impact on the environment . Although there are other types of renewable energies, some of them generate a negative impact, such as wind power turbines are harmful to birds or hydraulic installations are harmful to fish found in rivers.

-It is reusable energy , that is, solar energy can be stored and then converted into electricity according to the demand that it has or the surplus generated can be used. There are certain renewable energies that are irregular since they depend on certain factors that cannot be managed, for example that the wind blows or that the tide rises.

-It is an adaptable energy, this means that it can be installed in places with a few square meters or in large production areas. This energy adapts to all types of terrain, needs and societies.

-It is democratic , that is, it is accessible in relation to its maintenance cost and many people can access solar self-consumption with their own solar panels installed in their home. It is an excellent way of self-sufficiency.

– The consumption of fossil fuels decreases , this means that the energy imports of oil decrease and it is thus possible to be more self-sufficient as a society.

– Produces wealth, employment and contributes to sustainable development. More and more careers related to solar energy, ranging from engineering to installation and operation.

– Diversity of applications , that is, solar energy can be used for different purposes, either to generate electricity through photovoltaic systems (solar panels) or to generate heat, through thermal systems, solar energy is used to heat water and facilities.

As a disadvantage of solar energy we can say that:

-It is a source of energy that depends on certain factors that cannot be managed, such as the weather or the number of hours of the Sun per year.

– High initial investment cost, this includes the purchase of the photovoltaic system, which is high, since apart from the photovoltaic modules, an inverter, the charge regulator, the wiring, the batteries and the installation must be purchased.

– Variability of sunlight , that is, the angle at which sunlight falls on a particular region changes throughout the day and the seasons. In certain fixed solar energy collection equipment, it is difficult to make the most of solar energy during all hours of the day.

-Lack of information and technical support. As it is a fairly new energy, there is a lack of information at the public level in relation to the operation and productivity of energy generation systems powered by sunlight, or it is reflected in few companies that have the dominance of the energy market. systems.

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