Solar power is hot topic in 21st century, as it is offering us electricity more efficiently at much cheaper rates. In system converts sunlight into electricity directly or indirectly. Direct means of conversion are photovoltaic and in indirect means concentrated solar power is used. These indirect means use lenses or mirrors with some tracking systems. These systems focus on large area of sunlight but extract only those beams which contain protons.
Application of Solar Power:
Solar power today is used in different places and for different purposes. Some most common applications of solar energy are as followed
Concentrating Solar Power (CSP): these plants use lenses to absorbed heat of sun. Concentrated heat is then used as a source for power plants. There is wide variety available under this technology and these technologies include parabolic trough, the concentrating linear fresnel reflector, the Stirling dish and the solar power tower. Thorough parabolic trough a linear reflector concentrates on light along reflector focus line. Receiver here is a tube which is positioned above the middle or mirror.
- Solar Thermal Electric Power Plants: besides CPS these plants also use solar power. Here solar thermal energy is used practically to get heat, which is later on used for different purposes. Different thermal collectors are popularly used here including solar hot water panels which are used to heat up the water for personal usage as well as small industrial usage. These plants are building to control ventilation issues in both active and passive solar designs.
- Photovoltaic: PV technology also uses solar power in modules or arrays to convert energy into electricity. These cells produce direct current electricity from sun rays which is used for other processing in future. These cells are also used now in different appliances and many pocket calculators. Largely these solar cells are work best in arrays and then use to power orbiting satellites. In many remote areas these cells are used as source of power including roadside emergency telephones, remote sensing, and cathodic protection of pipelines.
- Solar Lighting: these lights are also known as day lighting, and work with help of solar power. These lights store natural energy of sun in day time and then convert this energy into electricity to light up in night time. Use of this system is reducing load form local power plants. These lights can be installed easily and they facilitate us with features of building orientation, window orientation, exterior shading, saw tooth roofs, clerestory windows, light shelves, skylights, and light tubes.
- Solar Updraft Tower: another amazing application of solar power can be found with these towers. This tower use renewable energy and is proposed as power plant of this energy. In this structure air pressure is increased which produce green house effect and make air flow within the tower. When air starts moving then electricity is produced and it is stored on solar panels to use later on.
- Solar Cars: it is an electrical vehicle which is recharged form solar energy or sunlight. Solar panels are used on this car that absorb light and then convert it into electrical energy. This electrical energy is stored in batteries used with the car, so that in night time as well we can drive these vehicles. Till now these cars are not a common mean of transportation but it is expected that in next few years we will find some big names with these types of cars.
- Solar Power Satellite: these specially designed solar satellites are built in high earth orbit, and they work with help of microwave power transmission to get solar power. This power is collected through earth and is transmitted to these satellites through a large antenna. Its advantage is that they can work all day long without issue of weather changes.