The sun remains the ultimate source of energy for the entire universe.
Through photosynthesis, plants utilize this energy from the sun by synthesizing its food and sugar. Energy is then storing in the plant tissues. This energy is transferring when animals eat plants, and another animal eats the animal. These animals and plants die, and their remains are buried and baked by the heat of the earth’s surface.
After a very long time, the plants and animals become fossil fuels. Mainly they are coal and oil, receiving the energy from the sun.
Interestingly, coal and oil are the most utilized sources of energy. They are burnt mostly in the United States to produce electricity. However, this has been noted to have greenhouse side effects which are the emission of carbon dioxide. This emission encourages the warming of the planet. Also the depletion of the ozone layer and abrupt change in the climate condition of regions.
These side effects have made the need to look for more renewable sources of electricity in addition to wind. The sun is the ultimate source of energy to the earth. It becomes convenient to use it as a source of electrical energy. Different solar electric technologies have been developed ranging from solar panels to solar mirrors, and more recently to plasmons.
Solar panels are flat surfaces overlaid with solar cells made up of little glass wafers. These panels rest on an elevated structure. They are mainly on the top of the roof to get undisturbed and interrupted sunlight rays. Whenever the sun rays hit the panel, the solar cells convert the solar energy of the sun to electricity. This energy transports from the panel via wires to the electrical circuits of the panels on the buildings. This technology has a proven capacity to take care of the necessary electrical needs of a household. As it could power the TV, the refrigerator, electric bulbs, heaters and other electric-consuming
Another means of generating electricity from the sun is the use of solar mirrors in a thermal plant. Curved mirrors with an extensive surface area set in such a manner that once the sun rays hit them. They reflect the center of the curved mirrors. The reflected sun rays to the center generate energy. Wherein is used to create steam, heat water and drive a turbine thereby generating electricity. Electricity is a similitude of using coal or oil to heat water to generate electricity. The difference is that there is no emission of carbon dioxide.
Though the use of solar panels and solar mirrors has achieved tremendous success producing electricity, scientists are still working to exploit the sun’s energy fully. Some scientists proposed that plasmon resonance can be used to generate electricity. These plasmons are waves of electrons made at the point where metallic surfaces come in contact with air. The underlying principle of this invention is that this plasmon could produce electricity from sun rays with a longer wavelength. It may not be visible to the eyes like the infrared rays. When using the conventional solar panels, solar or photovoltaic cells convert sun rays in the visible spectrum to electricity. While the other rays that are not visible, pass through as unwanted heat and is lost entirely. This potential invention is the combination of solar cells on metallic surfaces. It is using plasmoelectric effect and photovoltaic effect to utilize both visible and infrared light for the production of electricity. Even though this is still in the development stages, it appears to be the future of electricity from solar energy.
The benefits electricity gets from the sun helps in the reduction of the emission of greenhouse gases. This reduction makes it a better option. Not just for power generation but also as a means of keeping our planet safe and habitable. Therefore more should be done with exploiting this alternative and even the global distribution of this technology.
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