Solarenergy is energy created by the heat and light of the sun. Solar power isproduced when this energy is converted into electricity or used to heat air,water, or other substances. Sun is the ultimate source of solarenergy.
The energy from the sun is directly converted into electrical energywith the help of solar cells. Solar cell is also known as photovoltaic cellthat converts light energy into electrical energy by the photovoltaic effect. Asolar cell when exposed to light generates electric current. This electriccurrent can be used to light bulbs or motors. Collection of solar cells iscalled solar panel.
These solar panels not only produce electricity but alsostore the energy for future use. Photovoltaics were initially solelyused as a source of electricity for small and medium-sizedapplications, from the calculator powered by a singlesolar cell to remote homes powered by an off-grid rooftop PV system.Commercial concentrated solar power plants were first developed in the 1980s.
The 392 MW Ivanpah installation is the largestconcentrating solar power plant in the world, located in the Mojave Desertof California. As the cost of solar electricityhas fallen, the number of grid-connected solar PVsystems has grown into the millions and utility-scale solarpower stations with hundreds of megawatts are being built. Solar PV israpidly becoming an inexpensive, low-carbon technology to harness renewableenergy from the Sun. The current largest photovoltaic power station in theworld is the 850 MW Longyangxia Dam Solar Park,in Qinghai, China.
This form of energy is environment friendly ascompared to the fossil fuels. The solar cells do not release anything into theatmosphere that can create pollution. Solar electricity ischeaper than any other form of electricity. They save a considerable amount ofmoney. Sun is theconsistent power source, so one needs not to worry about solar energy gettingdepleted. Sun is available all the days.
Solar panels require very littlemaintenance, so one has not to spend money on its maintenance. Once installedthey will start generating electricity immediately. Solar energy is thecleanest form of energy as it does not create noise pollution. Solar power includes plants with amongthe lowest water consumption per unit of electricity (photovoltaic), and alsopower plants with among the highest water consumption (concentrating solarpower with wet-cooling systems).Photovoltaic power plants use very little waterfor operations. Life-cycle water consumption for utility-scale operations isestimated to be 12 gallons per megawatt-hour for flat-panel PV solar. Only windpower, which consumes essentially no water during operations, has a lower waterconsumption intensity. Concentrating solar power plants with wet-coolingsystems, on the other hand, have the highest water-consumption intensities ofany conventional type of electric power plant; only fossil-fuel plants withcarbon-capture and storage may have higher water intensities.
A 2013 studycomparing various sources of electricity found that the median waterconsumption during operations of concentrating solar power plants with wetcooling was 810 ga/MWhr for power tower plants and 890 gal/MWhr for troughplants. This was higher than the operational water consumption (with coolingtowers) for nuclear (720 gal/MWhr), coal (530 gal/MWhr), or natural gas (210).A2011 study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory came to similarconclusions: for power plants with cooling towers, water consumption duringoperations was 865 gal/MWhr for CSP trough, 786 gal/MWhr for CSP tower, 687gal/MWhr for coal, 672 gal/MWhr for nuclear, and 198 gal/MWhr for naturalgas.The Solar Energy Industries Association noted that the Nevada Solar Onetrough CSP plant consumes 850 gal/MWhr.
The issue of water consumption isheightened because CSP plants are often located in arid environments wherewater is scarce. Observing all the pros andcons of solar power system the pros are the winner.It has too much advantagesthan demerits.it is a good alterbnative of fossile fuel and a renewable eternalenergy source that can keep our earth havitable for a long time and make ourlive comfortable.So,in order to save our future generation from severepollution we have to take it as the permanent source of power.