How Solar Energy Can Be Used as a Source of Energy Supply?
While solar power is utilized much in home heating, electricity, solar cooking panels, etc., replacing the transportation fuel is still underexplored. While huge, relatively slow vehicles like ships could utilize solar power with large onboard solar panels, small faster vehicles such as cars cannot use such onboard solar panels. The only way a car could be fully solar-powered would be through solar-charged batteries that need to be charged by solar power at some stationary point.
Today, electric cars that are partially solar-powered are available, but these need to be further modified to replace the current world’s transportation costs. But if it is possible to replace the rest of the energy needs with solar power, it will benefit the present generation and future generations. In fact, the two most important advantages of solar energy over fossil fuel are that solar energy is renewable and is environment friendly. Solar energy does not produce any harmful gases that will pollute the atmosphere. While the burning of fossil fuels releases many harmful pollutants into the atmosphere and contributes to environmental problems like global warming and acid rain, solar energy is absolutely non-polluting. Indeed, if a solar energy system is replaced with other forms of energy in business and dwelling, several acres of precious land resource will be saved. Since silicon which is the only input required for solar panels is abundantly present on the earth’s surface, there is only little environmental disturbance caused by the creation of solar panels.
With the increase in demand for energy and the crises anticipated in the future for fossil fuels, solar technology can prove to be cost effective and environmental friendly. However, more research and development is necessary to make this technology popular and user friendly.
Advancements in solar technology and the use of low-cost thermal storage will allow future concentrating solar power plants to operate for more hours during the day and shift solar power generation in the non productive hours or at times when solar radiation is less due to cloud cover.
Scientific work in the field of solar energy production is increasing day by day. Researchers are focusing on developing lower cost solar concentrators, high-efficiency engine/generators, and high-performance receivers. The need of the hour is to further popularize this technology and replace the currently used non-renewable energy sources. The focus should be to develop the technology to increase acceptance of the systems and help the systems break through rising domestic and international energy markets.