The sun is the epicentre of the solar system. Many would say life only exists on Earth because of its shining grace, and they would not be far wrong. Since the discovery of fire, man started figuring out new and creative ways of energy extraction. Over time though, we discovered that all the conventional sources of energy like coal, oil and gas are non- renewable, and thus limited in stock.
These have lifetimes and expiration dates. The ultimate source of energy – the sun – was evidently the only thing even close to everlasting, and easily available. Naturally, people by and large turned their thoughts to harnessing it on a larger scale.
Technologies Used for Solar Installation
- Photovoltaics: This type of solar installation was first invented back in the 19th century. “Photovoltaic cell” is the technical name for a solar cell, which is an instrument used to convert natural sunlight into electric current. This system was named as the PV or the photovoltaic power system, and it could produce current depending on the availability of sunlight.
- Concentrated Solar Power: Concentrated solar power is a more advanced solar installation method compared to photovoltaics, which are still quite widely used. Its principle is to concentrate sunlight to a particular point, and use the heat generated to harness electricity from steam driven turbines. The concentration of sunlight is achieved with the help of mirrors or lenses.
- Hybrid systems: Hybrid systems, as the name suggests, are a solar installation methodology which combine photovoltaics and concentrated solar power with other sources of energy like diesel, biogas etc. This method of solar installation can make up for the wavering nature of sunlight. In other words, as the availability of sunlight is not certain at all times at all places, hybrid systems pick up the proverbial slack.
Solar power plays a vital role in our lives, and its use and development will carry through into the years to come. Most homes nowadays have solar panels installed on their rooftops, to provide electric power intended for personal use. Due to the renewable nature of solar energy, solar installations are currently in high demand all over the world.
Maintenance is very cheap, and the lack of pollution is an added bonus. As of now, the largest operational thermal power stations are primarily found in developed western countries, with developing countries around the globe steadily catching on.