Solar Energy as an Alternative Source of Energy
World Energy Conservation predicted that the coal deposits will deplete within the next 200 to 300 years and petroleum deposits will deplete in next few decades. Also, the large amount of the usage of fossil fuels has caused visible damage to our environment in many kind of ways. global warming that caused by greenhouse gas resulted from fossil fuel energy generating systems, is also a major concern. So, developing an alternate fuel like non-conventional sources is needed. This review journal is about the solar energy, one of the renewable and alternative energy that has been identified as the promising sources of energy to replace the dependency on fossil fuel resources, and different ways of using it to convert to electric energy. Solar electricity is an alternative energy thus, it’s pollution free and doesn’t cause any kind of destruction to our environment. Despite that throwing benefits of solar energy, this paper will also discuss about the disadvantages of the mentioned energy. Solar energy from the Sun is available almost anywhere on our planet. There is so much potential energy to be gained from the usage solar energy, without neglecting the other renewables energy available such as hydro energy, nuclear energy and wind energy, in Malaysia.
Keywords: solar energy, renewable and alternative energy, fossil fuel, electricity
Solar energy is the energy received by the earth from the sun. This energy is in the form of solar radiation, which makes the production of solar electricity possible. Basically, the heat and light from the sun, is harnessed using various technologies and are converted to electrical energy.
The use of solar energy offers huge potential for natural resource and climate protection, and for the expansion of renewable energies on the road to a future-oriented energy supply (MARGARETA WOLF, 2004).
The development of the energy over the years
For the last two centuries, we started using Sun’s energy directly to make electricity. In 1839, French scientist Edmond Becquerel discovers the photovoltaic effect while experimenting with an electrolytic cell. It’s a proved that that certain materials produced small amounts of electric current when exposed to light. In 1876, William Grylls Adam and Richard Evans Day discover that solid material, selenium, could change light in to electricity without heat or moving parts.
Today we can see the usage of solar cells in a wide variety of places. You may see solar powered cars and there’s even a solar powered aircraft that has flown higher than any other.
The concept and processes involved to produce the energy
As shown in figure 1, it shows the process involved to produce the energy.
122700189172AC Breaker Box
00AC Breaker Box
12100387802AC Household Electricity
00AC Household Electricity
Fig. 1. How Solar Power is Generated
Sunlight hits the solar panels and it convert the sun’s energy into Direct Current (DC) electricity which is sent to an inverter. The inverter converts the DC into Alternating Current (AC) electricity. Unused electricity flows through a utility meter into the power grid.
Element and or tools involved in the operations to produce the energy
Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaic (PV), or indirectly using concentrated solar power (CSP). Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. Photovoltaic converts light into electric current using the photoelectric effect.
The advantages and disadvantages of those particular energy
5.1 Advantages of Solar Energy
Firstly, solar energy is a renewable energy at its best, meaning that however much of it is used it will never run out. Next it’s a money saver which reduces consumption of fossil fuels for electricity production. The power source of the sun is free Also, its environmentally friendly. The production of solar energy produces no pollution. It’s not affected by the supply and demand of fuel. Does not contribute to global warming, acid rain or smog, decrease of harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
5.2 Disadvantages of Solar Energy
Firstly, it is very expensive. The installation cost is very high. Solar panels still remain a costly alternative to the use of readily available fossil fuel technologies. Next, it requires spaces. For home users, they can install solar panels on the roof but for the big companies, a large are is needed for the system to be efficient in providing a source of reliable electricity. Next, the weather. If you have a long period of dark weather, you have a problem as the solar panel can’t absorbs many solar radiations from the sun.
Application examples of the energy
Solar Powered Vehicle
Taking a solar car as an example. It is an electric vehicle powered by the energy from solar panels that was put on the surface of the car, which convert the sun’s energy into electrical energy for the car to move.
Solar Power Satellite
A solar power satellite (SPS) is a proposed satellite built in high Earth orbit. When the light energy from the sun hits the solar panels on the satellite, it created electricity which helps the satellite to work continuously.
This paper has been presented with the information about solar energy, the history, the process involved to produce the energy as well as the element or the toll that are needed to produce it. Moreover, this paper also discussed about the advantages and the disadvantages of the mentioned energy. The Sun provides a very abundant supply of energy that is available to all of us. Solar energy from the Sun is available almost anywhere on the planet. There is so much potential energy to be gained from using solar energy, without neglecting the other renewables energy available such as hydro energy, nuclear energy and wind energy, especially in our country Malaysia.