All about solar energy

Given that Earth receives daily sun energy equivalent to nearly 200,000 times the global capacity for generating electricity, solar energy has a tremendous amount of potential. Solar energy systems either use photovoltaic (PV) panels or mirrors to focus solar radiation to convert sunlight into electrical energy. This power can be converted into electricity, or it can be stored thermally or in batteries.

Due to its limitless supply and lack of pollution, solar energy is predicted to become a more popular renewable energy source in the twenty-first century than the finite fossil fuels coal, petroleum, and natural gas. Sadly, even though solar energy is free, its use is still restricted in many regions due to the high cost of its collection, conversion, and storage.

solar energy




Well, in this article we’ll be answering questions about solar energy

  • What is solar energy?
  • How does solar energy work?
  • What are the types of solar energy?
  • What are the applications of solar energy?
  • What are the best solar energy companies?
  • What are the costs of solar energy?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy?


What is solar energy?

Solar energy is the term for solar radiation that can create heat, trigger chemical reactions, or create electricity. The total solar energy incident on Earth is far greater than the global energy needs at the moment and in the future. This highly distributed source has the ability to meet all future energy demands if properly exploited. In other words, solar energy is any form of energy generated by the sun. Nuclear fusion occurs in the sun and produces solar energy. When two hydrogen atoms hit forcefully and combine to form a helium atom at the sun’s core, fusion takes place.

A PP (proton-proton) chain reaction is what causes this process to produce such a large amount of energy. The sun burns 620 million metric tons of hydrogen each second in its core. Other stars that are similar in size to our sun experience the PP chain reaction, which gives them constant energy and heat. These stars have a Kelvin temperature of roughly 4 million degrees (about 4 million degrees Celsius, 7 million degrees Fahrenheit). Solar radiation is the light that the sun emits, commonly referred to as electromagnetic radiation. The amount of solar radiation that reaches any given area on the Earth’s surface fluctuates, even though every location receives some sunshine during the year. This radiation is captured by solar technology, which transforms it into useful energy.

Read more: Understanding energy sources

How does solar energy work?

Below shows the steps on how solar energies work




A layer of silicon cells, a metal frame, a glass case encased in a specific coating, and wiring make up each panel. The panels are arranged in “arrays” (an ordered series) and put on rooftops or in sizable outdoor places for optimum impact. During daylight hours, the solar cells, which are also known as photovoltaic cells, absorb sunlight.


A thin semiconductor wafer comprised of two layers of silicon is contained within each solar cell. An electric field is created when two layers are positively and negatively charged. A photovoltaic solar cell is energized by solar light energy, which also causes electrons to “come loose” from atoms within the semiconductor wafer. The electric field surrounding the wafer causes those unbound electrons to move, and this movement results in an electrical current.



You now have solar panels that efficiently convert sunshine into electricity, but the electricity they produce is referred to as direct current (or DC) electricity, not the alternating current (or AC) electricity that powers the majority of homes. Thankfully, a device called an inverter makes it simple to convert DC current into AC electricity. These inverters can be set up in contemporary solar systems as a single inverter for the entire system or as separate microinverters attached behind the panels.



After being transformed from DC to AC electricity, solar energy is dispersed throughout the house to power your appliances. Nothing inside the home needs to alter because it operates the same as the electricity your electric utility provider generates through the grid. You can automatically draw additional electricity to make up for any solar power shortfalls from the grid because you are still connected to your traditional power provider.



In the middle of the day when no one is home, your solar shingles or panels may gather excess energy—more than you need to run your home. On cloudy days and at night, your solar panels or shingles might not be able to capture enough sunlight to utilize for energy. For this reason, a meter is used to measure the amount of power moving both to and from your home. If you send any excess energy back to the grid, your utility company will frequently give you credits. It is referred to as net metering.

What are the types of solar energy?

Below shows the types of solar energy

  • Concentrated Solar Energy
  • Photovoltaic Solar Energy
  • Solar Pool Heating
  • Water Heating Solar Energy
  • Thermal Solar Energy

Concentrated Solar Energy

Concentrated Solar Energy

CSP, or concentrated solar power, is typically found in substantial systems that supply the grid with electricity. Many people think that Archimedes and his blazing glass had something to do with the history of concentrated solar. This type of energy concentrates sunlight from a wide region onto a receiver using mirrors and lenses.

In 1984, the first system was installed, and by the year’s end, there were 14 systems. There were 6,451 installations worldwide as of 2019. Modern structures use tens of thousands of mirrors to focus the sun’s heat into a very small area. The steam turbine is then propelled by heat to produce power.

Although photovoltaic or PV panels are more often used for large-scale applications, concentrated solar power still has a conversion efficiency of up to 25% to 35%. There are four different types of concentrated solar technology available right now. They include

the solar power towers.

the solar power towers.

A solar furnace that uses a tower to gather concentrated sunlight is referred to as a solar power tower, central tower power plant, or heliostat power plant. It focuses the sun’s beams onto a collection tower using a system of flat, moveable mirrors known as heliostats (the target). Systems that use concentrated solar power (CSP) are one potential source of clean, renewable energy.

 The concentrating linear Fresnel reflector

 The concentrating linear Fresnel reflector

The linear Fresnel reflector system is a second linear concentrator method. Sunlight is directed onto a receiver tube placed above the mirrors by flat or slightly curved mirrors mounted on trackers on the ground. To sharpen the sunlight even more, a small parabolic mirror may occasionally be placed atop the receiver.

 The solar parabolic dish

 The solar parabolic dish

A particular kind of solar collector called a solar parabolic dish directs sunlight onto a central receiver, where it is collected and transformed into heat. It achieves this by using dual-axis tracking and a computer. The receiver is often installed at the focal point in the front portion of the dish.

 The parabolic trough.

 The parabolic trough.

A parabolic trough is a form of solar thermal collector that has a polished metal mirror lining and is straight in one dimension and curved as a parabola in the other two. Sunlight that reaches the mirror perpendicular to its symmetry plane is focused along the focal line, where heated objects are placed. Food is placed at the focal line of a trough in a solar cooker, for instance, and cooked when the trough is directed so that the Sun is in its symmetry plane.

Photovoltaic Solar Energy

Photovoltaic Solar Energy

Materials and equipment for photovoltaic solar energy systems convert light into electrical energy. A cell is a single photovoltaic (PV) device. A single photovoltaic cell is typically a tiny device, with an average power output of 1 to 2 watts. These cells are frequently thinner than four human hairs and constructed of various semiconductor materials. Cells are sandwiched between protective materials in a combination of glass and/or plastics to endure the outdoors for a long time.

One of the most widely used forms of solar power systems is the photovoltaic one. To enhance solar capacity, some of the biggest nations in the world, including China, the United States, and the European Union, are currently building massive solar farms. These nations combined solar capacities as of 2018 were 175,018MW, 62,200MW, and 115,234MW, respectively. As populations rise, developing nations are striving to seek out freely available energy generated from solar radiation.

As a result of government incentives and subsidies, installing photovoltaic solar power cells has become significantly less expensive domestically. As a result, dispelling the idea that solar energy is expensive, more and more homes now have access to clean, usable energy from the sun.

Thin film solar cells have gotten more adaptable and thinner as technology has improved. As a result, solar energy technology is currently being employed for roof tiles as well as in other cutting-edge applications including building exteriors.

Solar Pool Heating

Solar Pool Heating

Solar pool heaters heat your pool’s water using solar thermal energy. Solar energy collectors, which are used to heat the water in your pool, are frequently put on your roof, just like solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Your pool’s water is pushed up to the solar collectors on your roof, where it passes through a filter. These solar collectors resemble PV panels in appearance, but they have internal tubes that allow cold water to circulate, absorb heat, and then return warm water to your pool.

Commercial solar water heating has a long history that began in 1891. Within five years, the system was being utilized to heat pools all across Pasadena, California. Florida was the next state to follow, but World War II caused a shortage of copper. Electricity was supplanting this at the same time. The solar water sector at the time paid the price.

Despite this setback, it returned to being popular some 50 years later. The rise in fuel costs and the OPEC oil embargo were the causes of this. Now, however, we are looking for novel and creative ways to cut back on our usage of electricity and fossil fuels while attempting to enhance the future of our world.

Except for the upfront installation fees, these devices are a fantastic method to increase productivity. They cut prices, warm the water with solar energy, and do all of this without using electricity from the grid.

Water Heating Solar Energy

Water Heating Solar Energy

A solar water heating system is a tool that uses solar energy to assist in heating water. This energy is entirely unrestricted. Water heating is accomplished using solar energy (sun rays). 60–80 °C is an easy temperature range for water to be heated. Solar water heaters (SWHs) with capacities between 100 and 300 liters are suitable for home usage. At restaurants, canteens, guest homes, hotels, hospitals, etc., larger systems can be used. For home use, a 100-liter SWH can take the place of an electric geyser and potentially save 1500 units of power each year.

This type of solar energy is frequently used in household, commercial, and industrial settings. With the technologies at our disposal, a working fluid is heated using a collector that faces the sun. After that, it will enter a storage system where we can warm the water around the pipes that hold the working fluid.

As of 2017, solar water heating had a 472GW capacity that was used to power our electrical grids. Regarding adoption, China, the US, and Turkey are setting the bar high. Nonetheless, countries like Barbados, Austria, and Cyprus dominate the market on a per-capita basis.

The amount of heat produced by this system is proportional to the heat produced by the sun. As a result, this form of solar energy is more likely to be useful in countries with warmer, sunnier climates. This contributes to the effectiveness of these systems. Water heating can therefore be quite economical in locations with greater temperatures. As a result, installing solar in sunny climates has quicker payback periods.

Thermal Solar Energy

Thermal Solar Energy

The term “solar thermal energy” (STE) refers to both a type of energy and a method for using solar energy to produce thermal energy for use in industry, as well as in the residential and commercial sectors.

The United States Energy Information Administration categorizes solar thermal collectors as low-, medium-, or high-temperature collectors. Low-temperature collectors are typically not glazed and used to heat ventilation air or swimming pools. Flat plates are also commonly employed in medium-temperature collectors, but they are utilized to heat air or water for both home and commercial applications.

Thermal solar energy is more space-efficient than solar PV. When it comes to gathering heat, solar thermal can provide energy efficiency gains of up to 70%. Also, the mechanism is much simpler, making it perfect for heating water. The transfer of solar heat was one issue this sort of solar energy had to deal with. Molten salt ended up being the finest fluid that scientists and innovators tried, even though they also tried sodium and oil. This is the best option because it is economical and compatible with the steam turbines we already use.

Read more: Understanding renewable energy

What are the applications of solar energy?

Below shows the applications of solar energy

  • Water Heating
  • Generation Of Solar Power (Electricity)
  • Solar Heating
  • Drying of Agricultural and Animal Products
  • Solar Pumping Water for Irrigation
  • Solar Energy Lighting
  • Solar Energy Water Distillation

Water Heating

In many of our homes, businesses, lodging facilities, and even medical facilities, solar energy is used to heat water. To heat water in an insulated water tank so that it may be used in our houses for a long period of time, homeowners employ rooftop solar cells (PV).

By pumping water via a solar collector, where it is heated by the sun before being used in swimming pools, solar systems can also heat those.

Generation Of Solar Power (Electricity)

More individuals are choosing solar power as an alternative to other forms of generating electricity for their homes and businesses as a result of solar panel prices falling and their increased durability.

Using photovoltaic cells, which transform direct sunlight into electricity, solar energy produces electricity. The user’s monthly bills may be partially or entirely replaced by the energy produced by the solar power system.

It is possible to send extra energy to the grid so that other nearby users can use it. You can choose between on-grid and off-grid systems while using solar energy. Without any connections to the grid or reliance on utility providers for power, off-grid devices only employ solar energy.

The excess energy that your solar panels create can be stored in battery banks or put back into the grid, where it is distributed to other customers and greatly reduces your electricity costs. Also, the electric utility company can supply you with electricity in the event that your solar system is unable to produce any.

Solar Heating

Homes and businesses can benefit from solar energy for space heating. Flat plate collectors, for example, are devices that turn solar radiation into heat (thermal energy). A blackened metal plate with a top clear glass cover and a thermal insulation layer beneath it that is heated by sunlight makes up the Flat Plate Collectors.

The insulated water tank holds hot or warm water after the metal collector absorbs heat from the sun and transmits it to water or air as a carrier fluid.

Your home may also receive hot or warm water from this heating water system via tubes in the floors or ceilings.

When the building needs heat, hot water or air can be transported from these collectors or devices to the building’s interior spaces using standard equipment like fans, air outlets, and ducts.

Drying of Agricultural and Animal Products

agricultural and animal products like fruits, milk, fish, potato chips, and maize grains can be dried using solar energy. Items are placed in a cabinet dryer, which consists of a box with an insulated bottom foundation, a painted inner side, and an angled transparent sheet covering the interior side.

To allow air to circulate over the drying material that is placed on perforated trays inside the cabinet, ventilation holes are pierced at the bottom and top.

Solar Pumping Water for Irrigation

A solar panel system can provide enough solar energy to power a pump to move water for summertime irrigation. Conversely, solar panels produce more solar energy because they receive more sunlight exposure during hot seasons when crops lose more water through transpiration. As a result, solar energy is a wonderful option for irrigation because it is affordable and widely available.

Solar Energy Lighting

Security lights, street lights, interior lighting, and road signs can all be powered by solar energy because it is a cost-effective, ecologically beneficial, and easily available resource.

You can utilize solar energy to illuminate your home or place of business since it is a terrific way to save money, energy, and resources and does not lose or dissipate power as other energy sources do.

Solar Energy Water Distillation

A solar panel system can provide enough solar energy to power a pump to move water for summertime irrigation. Conversely, solar panels produce more solar energy because they receive more sunlight exposure during hot seasons when crops lose more water through transpiration. As a result, solar energy is a wonderful option for irrigation because it is affordable and widely available.

Read more: Uses of energy in our daily life

What are the best solar energy companies?

Below is the list of best solar energy companies

How much are the costs of solar energy?

Depending on the style and model, solar panels can cost anywhere from $3,500 to $35,000, or around $16,000 on average. Despite the fact that solar panels can help you save money on energy prices, it’s crucial to understand the whole setup costs of solar panels so you can create a budget.

Read more: Understanding Non-renewable energy resources

What are the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy?

Below are the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy


reducing electricity costs

Your energy expenses will go down since you’ll be able to use some of the electricity your solar system has produced to satisfy your demands. Depending on the size of the solar system and how much electricity or heat you use, you can save a variety of amounts on your utility bill.

Renewable Energy Source

The fact that solar energy is a completely renewable energy source is the most significant advantage of solar panels among all its other advantages. It is available every day and can be used everywhere in the world. Unlike some other energy sources, solar energy will never run out. Solar power will be available as long as there is sunlight.

Low Expenses of Maintenance

In general, solar energy systems don’t need much upkeep. They only need to be kept moderately clean, so a few times a year of cleaning will do. If you’re unsure, you can always rely on specialized cleaning businesses, which provide this service for between £25 and £35 every visit.

A wide range of applications

There are many uses for solar energy. You can produce heat or electricity (photovoltaics) (solar thermal). Solar energy can be used to distill water in locations with a shortage of clean water, generate electricity in places without access to the electrical grid, and run spacecraft in space.



Buying a solar system requires a significant up-front expense. This covers the cost of the wiring, installation, batteries, inverter, and solar panels. Yet, as solar technology is always improving, it is reasonable to predict that costs will decrease in the future.


Even while solar energy can still be captured on overcast and wet days, the solar system’s effectiveness is reduced. Sunlight is necessary for solar panels to efficiently collect solar energy. As a result, a few days of overcast, wet weather can significantly affect the energy grid. You should also consider the fact that solar energy cannot be captured at night.

takes lots of space.

You will need additional solar panels to create more electricity since you want to capture as much sunshine as you can. Many roofs are too small to accommodate the quantity of solar PV panels you would like to have because solar PV panels take up a lot of space.

Solar Energy Storage Is Expensive

Solar energy must be used immediately unless it is stored in huge batteries. Off-grid solar systems that use these batteries can be charged throughout the day to utilize the energy at night. Although it is rather pricey, this is a fantastic option for using solar energy continuously.

Solar energy FAQs

What is solar power energy?

Solar energy works by transforming solar energy into power. Electricity and heat are the two energy types that the sun produces for human use. Both are produced through the installation of solar panels, which can be as small as those on a homeowner’s roof or as large as those covering acres of rural land.

What are the 5 advantages of solar energy?

  • Solar energy is a renewable energy source and reduces carbon emissions.
  • ​​Solar energy can reduce your home’s electricity bill.
  • Solar power can get you money back through Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs)
  • Homes with solar panels installed may improve home value.

What is solar energy’s short answer?

Simply said, solar energy is the heat and light emitted by the sun. Many methods exist for utilizing the energy that the sun provides: With photovoltaic cells, sunlight may be converted into power. Using the heat from the sun to produce hot water or steam is known as solar thermal technology.

Why is solar energy important?

Solar energy is a renewable resource that plays a significant part in lowering greenhouse gas emissions and preventing climate change, which is essential for safeguarding people, animals, and ecosystems. Moreover, solar energy can enhance air quality and decrease water use in energy generation.

What is the main source of solar energy?

Nuclear fusion occurs in the sun and produces solar energy. In the sun’s core, fusion happens when the protons of colliding hydrogen atoms fuse to form helium atoms. A PP (proton-proton) chain reaction is what causes this process to produce such a large amount of energy.

What are the 4 main types of solar energy?

  • Solar Photovoltaic Plants. Solar photovoltaic systems are the most common type of solar energy system that produces electricity directly from sunlight.
  • Solar Water Heating Systems.
  • Concentrated Solar.
  • Technical Passive Solar Heating.

What are the 3 types of solar energy?

  • Solar thermal (for heating)
  • Concentrated solar power (for electricity)
  • Solar Photovoltaics (electricity)

Why is solar the best energy source?

Solar energy generated at home is clean, renewable, and emission-free. Home solar energy doesn’t emit dangerous pollutants or greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide, into the air or water supply, unlike fossil fuels like coal and natural gas.

Well, that is all for this article, I hope it was helpful.