It's really important for all people to learn a few standard solar energy facts to ensure that they can truly appreciate the entire potential and various fields of applications for this plentiful energy supply. Solar power is definitely the most ecologically friendly and most desirable of all alternative energy resources. Currently annually worldwide energy usage is around approximately 550 exajoules (523 Quadrillion BTUs) per year. Every year the earth's atmosphere, oceans, and land masses receive approximately 3,850,000 exajoules of energy from the sun's rays. Once this is taken into account anyone should be able to start to grasp precisely why the solar energy industry is eagerly working to improve processes to harness solar power. The Desertec foundation theorizes that covering just 1% of desert environments around the world with solar PV panels could very well power up the entire planet.
Listed below is a brief background of historical solar energy facts:
– The use of solar power by humankind is not new; countless ancient civilizations have utilized it in one form or another.
– Leonardo da Vinci was actually among the 1st modern thinkers to conceive industrial usage of solar energy to heat up water.
– The French scientist Edmond Becquerel observed the photovoltaic effect while experimenting with electrolytic cells in 1839.
– In 1894, Clarence Kemp, an inventor filed and obtained a patent for the design of the world's 1st solar-powered water heater.
– The world's 1st solar thermal power station was built by Frank Shuman in 1913. The station that was located in Egypt utilized parabolic trough-shaped mirrors to be able to heat water in boilers to drive a 65 horsepower engine. The engine pumped nearly 6,000 gallons of water each minute from the Nile River to adjacent crops.
– The first modern photovoltaic (PV) solar cell was designed at Bell Laboratories in the year 1954.
The following are a number of more technical solar energy facts:
– Solar devices are one of two types, active and passive. Active solar power devices use photovoltaic cells and passive devices are thermal based.
– Solar photovoltaic systems are currently the most common energy transformation devices, which make use of solar cells in modules to make light directly into electrical energy.
– Thermal based solar power systems sometimes use molten salts to hold solar energy at very high temperature because of their high specific heat energy qualities.
– The International Energy Agency (IEA) has forecasted that by the year 2060 around 33% of the world's power demands are going to be generated by using solar power technologies like photovoltaic panels, water heaters and solar electrical power stations.
– The Nokia 1610 plus was actually the first commercial solar-powered cell phone introduced by the Finnish manufacturer in 1997.
The following is a list of important solar installations through the globe:
– Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS) is a collection of 9 power facilities located within the Mojave Desert in California. SEGS maintains the classification of being the world's largest solar power station having a bundled production capacity of approximately 354 megawatts.
– In most cases big solar power facilities make use of photovoltaic cells for electric power generation, simply because they are currently much more cost-effective when utilized on a large scale. The planet's largest photovoltaic power plant is located in Sarnia, Canada, which provides a production capacity of 97 megawatts.
– The Andasol plant in Spain having an electrical power output of 250 megawatts is the second largest solar electric power plant in the world.
– The world's largest Scheffler reflector system located in Rajasthan, India is able to cook up to 35,000 meals a day.
– The world's largest thin-film photovoltaic power system "Waldpolenz Solar Park" is located in Germany.
– Topaz Solar Farm, a 550-megawatt solar photovoltaic power facility that is currently being built, is going to be among the largest facilities after completion.
Solar energy facts about solar-powered flight:
– The Astro Flight – Sunrise, an unmanned air vehicle developed in 1975 was the 1st solar-powered aircraft.
– The Gossamer Penguin, created in 1980, was the 1st plane only fueled by photovoltaic cells that was capable of carrying a person.
– Helios, an unmanned air vehicle, operated in part by solar PV panels accommodates the record for achieving the highest altitude of 96,863 ft, as well as a world record for sustained horizontal flight by a winged aircraft.
– Vanguard 1, an American satellite launched in 1958 was the world's 1st solar-powered satellite. Amazingly the satellite still orbits and it celebrated its 50th birthday in 2008.
– IKAROS (Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun) is the 1st spacecraft to successfully demonstrate solar-sail technology in space. The Japanese deployed the spacecraft in 2010 aboard an H-IIA rocket.
Because of the prolonged volatility of oil prices along with the fact that the average individual is actually more aware of their natural environment, there has actually been a greater push for the development of renewable energy. This elevated drive for non-fossil fuel electrical power will definitely aid to lower the cost of solar panels as well as various other renewable energy solutions. A need for corporations to appear environmentally aware has spoken about significant ad efforts from energy giants including BP and General Electric, showing their financial investments in environmentally friendly sources of power. These energy titans are not the only ones getting into sustainable energy, the rising cost for natural gas, coal, and oil already have forced energy costs higher and made "green" energy sources which include solar power, a possible economic choice for many people. Demand relating to solar energy has increased at 30% annually over the previous 15 years. In 2009, photovoltaic solar installations expanded by 20%, versus 2008, with above 7.3GW of photovoltaic solar panel installations across the globe. Earnings in 2009 from the photovoltaic solar industry also grew, getting to $ 38.5 billion.
The attraction to solar power is obvious. It is a virtual infinite energy source. It's free of greenhouse gas emissions, typically believed to lead to planetary climatic change. In industrialized countries that use a huge amount of air conditioning units, it makes more electricity exactly at the time you need to have it – during circumstances of highest electrical power usage. Once put in, solar power systems may very well operate for 30 years or more requiring a minimal amount of routine maintenance or management. At the same time, solar does come with some disadvantages, particularly the poor efficiency of photovoltaic solar modules, which is further reduced by the need to transform DC from the solar power cells into AC current. In addition, solar power relays on the weather conditions and also time of day, requiring battery storage or alternate systems to supplement during periods of weak power generation. Overall the beneficial solar energy facts considerably outweigh the unfavorable. These positive facts assist to exhibit this very important change in the direction of more predominant use of solar power, which certainly will provide a prosperous and healthy planet for many generations to come.