IMPORTANCE OF SOLAR ENERGY
Solar Energy a clean renewable resource with zero emission, has got tremendous potential of energy which can be harnessed using a variety of devices. With recent developments, solar energy systems are easily available for industrial and domestic use with the added advantage of minimum maintenance. Solar energy could be made financially viable with government tax incentives and rebates. Most of the developed countries are switching over to solar energy as one of the prime renewable energy source. The current architectural designs make provision for photovoltaic cells and necessary circuitry while making building plans. The National Solar Mission is a major initiative of the Government of India and State Governments to promote ecologically sustainable growth while addressing India’s energy security challenge. It will also constitute a major contribution by India to the global effort to meet the challenges of climate change. The objective of the National Solar Mission is to establish India as a global leader in solar energy, by creating the policy conditions for its diffusion across the country as quickly as possible. The immediate aim of the Mission is to focus on setting up an enabling environment for solar technology penetration in the country both at a centralized and decentralized level. The National Action Plan on Climate Change also points out: “India is a tropical country, where sunshine is available for longer hours per day and in great intensity. Solar energy, therefore, has great potential as future energy source. It also has the advantage of permitting the decentralized distribution of energy, thereby empowering people at the grassroots level”
Solar power provides energy to offices, schools, and municipal buildings. New advances in solar technology, along with reduced costs for solar materials and federal and state tax credits and rebates are making solar a popular choice for alternative and sustainable energy. It has become a desirable option for meeting energy needs in both the private and commercial sectors. Solar power is quickly making its way onto traditional power grids. And, with the growth of sustainable construction on the horizon, more people are looking to source their energy from solar power.
What Is Solar Power?
India is facing an acute energy scarcity which is hampering its industrial growth and economic progress. Setting up of new power plants is inevitably dependent on import of highly volatile fossil fuels. Thus, it is essential to tackle the energy crisis through judicious utilization of abundant the renewable energy resources, such as Biomass Energy solar Energy, Wind Energy and Geothermal Energy. Apart from augmenting the energy supply, renewable resources will help India in mitigating climate change. India is heavily dependent on fossil fuels for its energy needs. Most of the power generation is carried out by coal and mineral oil-based power plants which contribute heavily to greenhouse gases emission.
Solar power systems harness the sun’s energy and convert it into usable energy. Because sunlight is a renewable resource, solar power is sustainable and does little harm to the environment.
Converting the sun’s rays into electricity is cost-effective. Many countries embrace solar power to reduce reliance on expensive fossil fuels and to reduce pollutants.
Solar Power a clean renewable resource with zero emission, has got tremendous potential of energy which can be harnessed using a variety of devices. With recent developments, solar energy systems are easily available for industrial and domestic use with the added advantage of minimum maintenance. Solar energy could be made financially viable with government tax incentives and rebates. Most of the developed countries are switching over to solar energy as one of the prime renewable energy source. The current architectural designs make provision for photovoltaic cells and necessary circuitry while making building plans. Because of its location between the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator, India has an average annual temperature that ranges from 25°C – 27.5 °C. This means that India has huge solar potential. The sunniest parts are situated in the south/east coast, from Calcutta to Madras.
SOLAR THERMAL TECHNOLOGY
Solar thermal electricity technologies produce electric power by converting the sun’s energy into high temperature heat using various mirror configurations, which is then channeled to an on-site power plant and used to make electricity through traditional heat-conversion technologies. The plant essentially consists of two parts; one that collects Solar energy and converts it to heat, and another that converts the heat energy to electricity.
SOLAR CELL – A solar cell is a semiconductor device that transforms sunlight into electricity. Semiconductor material is placed between two electrodes. When sunshine reaches the cell, free negatively charged electrons are discharged from the material, enabling conversion to electricity. This is the so-called photovoltaic effect. In theory, a solar cell made from one semiconductor material only can convert about 30 percent of the solar radiation energy it is exposed to into electricity. Commercial cells today, depending on technology, typically have an efficiency of 5 – 12 percent for thin films and 13 – 21 percent for crystalline silicon based cells. Efficiencies up to 25 percent have been reached by the use of laboratory processes. By using multiple solar cells, efficiencies above 35 percent have been achieved.
SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAICS – Photovoltaic has been derived from the combination of two words, Photo means Light and Voltaic means electricity. It is a technology that converts light directly into electricity. Photovoltaic material, most commonly utilizing highly-purified silicon, converts sunlight directly into electricity.
Solar Power in Construction
Solar panels, which trap and convert sunlight into usable energy, can be fitted onto existing structures and, more increasingly, are incorporated into new structures from the design phase. Most new solar construction projects in the Upper Midwest feature a hybrid system that employs some solar with traditional energy sources.
Advantages of Solar Energy in India
The major benefit of installing solar power in construction is for the associated cost-savings. When relying on solar power, businesses can forgo electricity bills. In some instances, businesses receive payment from the power company by selling their surplus energy to the grid.
Employing solar power in any type of construction is ideal for the environment. Many are likely aware of the issues surrounding global warming and its ongoing debate. The use of fossil fuels pollutes the air and is not sustainable; unlike the sun’s rays, oil can’t be renewed. Additionally, using solar power in your construction plans qualifies you for government incentives that offset the initial investment of solar systems.
A decade ago, it was more expensive to purchase and install solar materials and solar had a tougher time competing with the efficiency of traditional energy sources. Now, solar power technology has grown into a highly efficient and effective way to supply power.
Some of the advantages of solar energy which makes it all the more suitable for India are as follows:
1) This is an inexhaustible source of energy and the best replacement to other non-renewable energies in India.
2) Solar energy is environment friendly. When in use, it does not release CO2 and other gases which pollute the air. Hence it is very suitable for India, India being one of the most polluted countries of the world.
3) Solar energy can be used for variety of purposes like as heating, drying, cooking or electricity, which is suitable for the rural areas in India. It can also be used in cars, planes, large power boats, satellites, calculators and many more such items, just apt for the urban population.
4) Solar power is inexhaustible. In an energy deficient country like India, where power generation is costly, solar energy is the best alternate means of power generation.
5) You don’t need a power or gas grid to get solar energy. A solar energy system can be installed anywhere. Solar panels can be easily placed in houses. Hence, it is quite inexpensive compared to other sources of energy.
6) No electricity bills. You need not pay the electricity bills every month standing in long queues at your local electricity board. You need to bother about voltage fluctuations. It safeguards electrical appliances at your home and business establishments. You need to choose quality solar panels, batteries, and inverters for building your own solar energy system. The battery is also very important to store the solar energy and supply when necessary to the electrical appliances.
7) Low maintenance. Most of the modules are offered with a 25-year warranty. So, you don’t have to worry about the maintenance of the systems. However, you may need to replace the batteries every 8 or 10 years in the long term. Batteries are also offered with 5 years warranty. The maintenance of solar panels is very less. You need not spend your hard earned money for the maintenance of solar panels frequently. You can forget about power cuts too in your area.