Sustainable Energy Systems

Most of the world’s present energy is generated by fossil fuels which are non renewable resources and have disastrous environmental impacts at local, regional and global levels. Around the world, energy is being used at an alarmingly high rate because of the industrial development and population growth. Fossil fuel reserves are diminishing fast and also their usage is becoming costlier day by day. The need of the hour is to explore different renewable energy resources which are not only good for our Earth but are inexhaustible.

But what is a renewable resource? Renewable energy resources are environmentally friendly resources to generate electricity. Common renewable energy resources are solar, wind, hydropower and biomass. These renewable energy resources are the key to sustainable consumption.

Sun is the main source of energy and is responsible for almost all the natural processes on earth. Radiant energy from the Sun holds huge potential waiting to be tapped. Solar power can be generated by collecting the radiant energy from the Sun and converting it into electricity. Solar power is very useful to provide electricity especially in the remote areas where infrastructure is not fully developed.

There are many advantages and disadvantages of solar energy. Before we plan to go solar, one should be clear about advantages and disadvantages of solar energy. Nowadays Solar energy or radiant energy from the Sun is used for wide range of purposes like generating electricity, providing hot water, charging all sorts of your electronic equipments, lighting your outdoor lighting structures and lot others.

Solar technologies are generally classified as Active and Passive solar energy. This classification is done on the basis of the way it captures converts and distributes the solar energy or radiant energy from the Sun.

Active Solar energy: Active solar techniques include electrical or mechanical equipments to harness the energy. Solar Panels have Solar Cells which are arranged in a grid-like pattern on its surface. Solar cells convert the solar radiation or sun rays into electrical energy, this energy can also be stored in batteries for future use. There are two ways to generate electricity from Sun. One is converting the sunlight directly into electricity by using solar or photovoltaic cells (PV). Other way is to generate the electricity indirectly by boiling the water from Sun’s heat and the steam produced is made to move the turbines which are then used to provide power.

Passive solar energy: Passive solar energy techniques rely on the inherent thermo-dynamic properties of the system or materials like choice of windows, their orientation, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air. Passive solar heating designs collect, store and distribute solar energy in the way that it will heat the house in winters. Passive solar cooling designs diminishes the heat of sun through shading or generating air flows and keeps the house cool in the summers. The natural processes like reflections, radiation, conduction and convection are used for such a design.

It is the time to go solar…solar energy advantages range from benefiting our pocket to the environment. Installing solar panels or solar lights, etc., may be costly in the beginning but you can positively save money in the long run. As solar energy is available for free in comparison to rising cost of oil, which means future $aving$$$$.

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