Engr. Dr. Muhammad Nawaz Iqbal
Solar energy is used to power chemical reactions in solar chemical processes. These procedures can both transform solar energy into fuels that can be stored and transported and compensate for energy that would otherwise come from a fossil fuel source. Thermo-chemical and photochemical chemical reactions brought on by the sun. Artificial photosynthesis can generate a range of fuels. A feasible alternative to producing hydrogen from protons is by using water as a source of electrons (as plants do). However, this requires mastering the multi-electron oxidation of two water molecules to molecular oxygen. Making carbon-based fuels (such as methanol) from reduction of carbon dioxide involves complex multi-electron catalytic chemistry.
For daily or inter seasonal periods, thermal mass systems can store solar energy in the form of heat at domestically practical temperatures. Thermal storage systems often make use of widely accessible, high specific heat capacity materials like water, soil, and stone. A well-designed system can reduce peak demand, move usage to off-peak times, and lower total heating and cooling needs.
Rechargeable batteries have traditionally been utilized by off-grid PV systems to store excess energy. Grid-tied systems allow excess electricity to be supplied to the transmission grid while utilizing regular grid electricity to fill in any gaps. Programs called net metering allow residential systems to receive credit for whatever electricity they provide to the grid. Every time the residence generates more electricity than it uses, the meter is “rolled back” to address this. The utility then transfers the kilowatt-hour credit to the next month if the net electricity use is less than zero. Other methods compare the amount of electricity produced and consumed using two meters. Due to the second meter’s higher installation expense, this is less often. A second meter is not required because the majority of conventional meters reliably measure in both directions.
In the 1890s, commercial solar water heaters first appeared in the US. Up until the 1920s, these systems were used more and more, but they were gradually replaced by less expensive and more dependable heating sources. Similar to how the 1970s oil shocks revived interest in photovoltaic, the 1980s oil price decline caused interest in solar water heating to wane. The solar water heating industry developed rapidly during the 1990s, and since 1999, yearly growth rates have averaged 20%.
Solar power is the process of turning solar energy directly into electricity using photo voltaics or indirectly through concentrated solar power. The photovoltaic effect is used by photovoltaic cells to convert light into an electric current. A vast region of sunlight is focused to a hot spot using concentrated solar power systems, which are frequently used to power a steam turbine. The calculator powered by a single solar cell and rural dwellings powered by an off-grid rooftop PV system were the only large-scale applications powered by photo voltaic at first. In the 1980s, the first commercial concentrated solar power facilities were created. Since that time, grid-connected solar PV installations have increased roughly exponentially as the price of solar electricity has decreased. The construction of gig watt-scale photovoltaic power plants and millions of installations is still ongoing, with solar energy accounting for half of all new generation capacity in 2021.
Long-term gains from the development of clean, cost-effective solar energy technology will be enormous. By relying on a domestic, limitless, and largely import-independent resource, it will boost sustainability, reduce pollution, cut the cost of combating climate change, and maintain lower fossil fuel prices than would otherwise be the case.