What Are The Primary Technologies By Which Solar Energy Is Harnessed?

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Sunlight can be harvested through either direct or indirect means. 

Most greenhouses absorb radiation from sunlight to heat air or water for plant growth via greenhouse heating. The sun’s energy warms the ground inside the greenhouse, radiating this energy in all directions within the structure, keeping plants warm throughout even the coldest nights. Greenhouses in temperate climates rely on passive solar heating. 

They are usually located to receive optimal sunlight exposure during cooler periods required for growing tender plants requiring higher temperatures or hardier plants requiring lower temperatures without supplemental heating. Depending on the plants they are intended to house, these greenhouses may be heated with oil or propane heaters or insulated with wool, polyester, or fiberglass batting. The glass can also be covered in shade cloth during hot summer months to minimize heating requirements. 

Solar heating has benefited us in many ways, such as many technology gadgets that work with solar energy, for example, solar security cameras, solar panels, and many more. Whereas solar energy is harnessed through several different primary technologies. And some of them are mentioned below in this article;

Photovoltaic Farms: 

Solar power is harnessed by using large swaths of land covered in flat-panel photovoltaic arrays to generate power. These types of facilities became popular during the 1990s and can be found all over the world. The largest such solar farm in operation today is the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm in the United States, which has a massive 550 megawatt (MW) capacity. The largest such farm planned will be the Topaz Solar Farms in California and is expected to have an incredible 550 MW capacity.

Concentrating Solar Power (CSP): 

Another method of harnessing solar energy involves converting it into thermal energy, which means concentrating the sun’s power with thousands or millions of mirrors to create heat. This heat can then boil water and produce steam, turning a turbine and generating electricity. It can also be stored for future use, much like traditional fuels. One example of this type of system is Spain’s Gemasolar Thermosolar Plant, which was put into operation in 2011 and is expected to provide power for up to 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Building-integrated PV (BIPV) Photovoltaics: 

Solar photovoltaic cells can also be integrated into the building materials that surround us every day. For example, solar cell roof tiles, shingles, or window coatings can harness free energy from the sun without sacrificing the other benefits of our buildings. In addition to providing power, these types of BIPV products add other advantages, such as lowering cooling costs with strong sunlight reflection and strong insulation during cold months.

Co-generation: 

Although not typically thought of as an individual technology, generation is a method harnessing solar power. Co-generation, also called combined heat and power (CHP), uses heat produced during electricity generation to create usable heat through steam or hot water. This process delivers electricity and thermal energy used for household heating, industrial processes, or district heating.

Solar Trackers:

Solar trackers increase the amount of sunlight that solar cells can absorb by using sensors to determine where the sun is and then moving panels accordingly, improving energy conversion rates from 10% to 15%. Inverter systems are placed within a flat array at each module, converting direct current to alternating current with traditional appliances.

Solar Chimneys

Solar chimneys are vertical structures that use the greenhouse effect to increase temperatures within a solar collector, harnessing heat through convection. These energy sources convert direct current into alternating current for usage with traditional appliances

Photochemical:

Photochemical reactions are the basis for photosynthesis in plants. It uses sunlight to synthesize organic compounds from carbon dioxide and water, and This process employs semiconductors containing unique metal complexes capable of absorbing light waves at specific frequencies. A chemical reaction occurs when light is absorbed by these complexes, resulting in oxygen and other compounds, such as hydrocarbons or carbohydrates.

Wrapping Up! 

Solar energy is harvested through many different mechanisms, utilizing a broad range of technologies. 

These are the primary methods by which solar power is harnessed. We hope this article is informative for you and you will enjoy reading it.