Download paper

The Renewable Energy Future Of Solar Power Environmental Sciences Essay

Due to the predicted deficit of fossil fuels and other non-renewable energy beginnings, research is now looking at options. These options are known as renewable energy. Renewable energy efficaciously uses natural resources such as sunshine, air current, rain, tides and geothermic heat, which can be of course replenished. If the usage of renewable energy is n’t explored for future usage, we may be populating without contraptions we take for granted today. For illustration, conceive of a winter without a warmer and a summer without air-conditioning, and daily life without telecastings, autos, rinsing machines, even visible radiations.

The Earth could acquire to a phase where it was so badly scarred from people seeking to happen more energy beginnings, that the harm is irreversible. With the current ingestion rate of non-renewable energy, this scenario may really good be the province of the planet in future old ages.

Therefore, this paper will research the usage of the surrogate energy beginning, solar power for present and future usage.

The advantages and disadvantages of the energy beginning will be discussed, in relation to its technological, economical, viability factors. In making so, the paper will try to turn out that non merely is solar energy as an surrogate energy beginning better for the environment, but besides verify that it is better for our economic system in the long tally.

Table of Contentss

1.0 Introduction 4

1.1 Overview of Solar Energy 4

1.2 Everyday Usage 6

2.0 Technological Viability 6

2.1 Efficiency 8

3.0 Environmental Sustainability 8

4.0 Economic 9

5.0 Decision 10

Mentions 11

1.0 Introduction

In today ‘s clime of turning energy demands and increasing environmental concern, options to the usage of non-renewable and polluting dodo fuels have to be investigated.

Top Experts
Professor P
Verified expert
4.9 (345)
Verified expert
4.9 (546)
Allan Brooks
Verified expert
5 (893)
hire verified expert

We have merely truly been looking at the possibility of solar power earnestly for the past 50 old ages, and fossil tally machines and power workss have been researched for the past century. In the diary article, “ Photovoltaics A Path to Sustainable Futures ” , Joshua M. Pierce states that since 1957, electricity demand in the US has increased by over 450 % while the US population has increased by merely 50 % , which illustrates how the demand for electricity has grown.It has been estimated that we merely have 50 to 70 old ages left of all fossil fuels at the current ingestion rate. This is a chilling figure, sing that every bit shortly as 2050 there could be no more nutrient to feed the industrialised machine. Something will hold to alter, it ‘s obvious, and renewable energy is the most logical reply.

Green Peace India defines Renewable Energy “ as a sustainable energy beginning that comes from the natural environment that is perennial. Clean Renewable Energy are those, which do non lend to any kind of emanation harmful to lives such as radiation, C, or affect extractive procedures, or which would do big scale supplanting of people or devastation of land and forest screens. ” ( Green Peace India, 2009 ) . In other words, renewable energy can be taken continuously from the natural environment and does non impact the normal activities in the biosphere.

One such renewable energy beginning being considered for future usage is solar energy.

Photovoltaics, “ exposure ” significance visible radiation and “ galvanic ” significance electricity, is one of the fastest turning solar energy engineerings. Photovoltaic devices, or solar cells, usage semiconducting material stuff to straight change over sunshine into electricity.

Overview Solar Energy

Solar cells, chiefly made of Si, absorb sunshine which contains photons, the energy byproducts of the atomic reaction in the Sun. The photons release negatrons that are captured in the signifier of an electric current which is used as electricity. This is besides known as the photoelectric consequence. Solar energy is the oldest type of energy found on Earth, as it is every bit old as the Sun. Every 2nd the universe receives 95.8 trillion Wattss of power, ( Pearce, 2002 ) . That is good beyond the sum of power used in one twenty-four hours.

It is unknown when worlds began utilizing solar energy to better their life styles. Equally far as we know, people have ever used the Sun for growing, vision and heat.

“ Some of the first antediluvian civilizations to utilize solar energy as warming were those from the comeuppances, and dry countries ” . ( Goswami, 1997 )

It was nevertheless recorded that states such as Egypt, Libya and Algeria would construct thick walls of clay to protect them from their rough clime. For illustration, during the hot yearss the wall would absorb the Sun energy, go forthing the huts cool, and during the dark when temperature were much colder, the walls when emit the yearss heat indoors. ( Goswami, 1997 )

Throughout history people have experimented with the many utilizations of the Sun ‘s power. In the seventeenth century, scientists in Europe began rediscovering the Sun. When a Gallic scientist proved that the Sun ‘s beams could run Cu and fuse pieces of Fe if concentrated and focused through a glass prism, people began to see the useable power of the Sun. In the 1690 ‘s an Italian scientist invented a solar furnace that was so hot it could shatter a diamond, one of the hardest substances on Earth ( Goswami, 1997 )

Using the Sun to bring forth energy was explore in greater lengths in the nineteenth century.

During this clip, an applied scientist named Frank Shuman, made a discovery. He built a works that used black troughs covered in glass with a few inches of H2O. This was exposed to the Sun, the H2O would go really hot, doing it to go around and power an electric generator. He was able to happen fiscal angels and built the universe ‘s first solar electric power works in Egypt. However, the Eastern Sun Power Company went out of concern even though it was utilizing free fuel. It did n’t bring forth adequate electricity for the country that it used, 14,000 sq. foot of sun-collecting land. ( Pearce, 2002 )

In 1954 Bell Laboratories invented the first photovoltaic ( or solar ) cell, made from the semi-conductor Si, and other elements. It was the first manner to change over sunlight straight into electricity. These solar cells were chosen as the power beginning for the orbiters in the sixtiess, because they can be little and light, and do n’t necessitate heavy batteries or other types of bring forthing electricity. After NASA and other major research workers backed solar energy, the engineering greatly improved. “ The first major usage of solar cells, other than in orbiter, were assorted exigency units and in distant countries where power lines could n’t be reached. ” ( Energy Matters Pty Ltd ) . In these state of affairss, it was more expensive to run power lines than to buy the dearly-won solar equipment. For illustration, in the high mountains of Papua New Guinea, where there is excessively much jungle for easy entree, there are necessary telephone lines run by solar power and merely visited for everyday check-ups.

1.2 Everyday Use

Numerous devices for roll uping solar energy and change overing it into electricity have been developed throughout the old ages, and solar energy is now being used in a assortment of ways. Equally good as providing energy to residential places and companies, they are popularly used in agribusiness where they supply the power to pump H2O, prevent ice from organizing on pools where farm animal drink, heating barns to maintain animate beings from stop deading, and impermanent lighting. They are besides used to run electric dikes in countries that can non be supplied by power lines.

Solar powered objects have started to look rather normally in many consumer points such as tickers, wirelesss, reckoners, rechargeable batteries, torchs, etc. The chief attractive force in these points is that you do n’t hold to replace the batteries, which saves money in the long tally. ( International Solar Energy, 2006 )

2.0 Technological Viability

The clip in which solar energy is available, is besides the clip we least necessitate it least – daylight. One disadvantage of solar power, harmonizing to International Solar Energy is its consistence and dependability. Solar-powered devices rely on the steady bringing photon to maintain the electricity bring forthing procedure traveling, as discussed antecedently. When the Sun falls below the skyline at dark, photons stop striking the solar panels and the power drops immediately.

However, the betterment in technological promotion over the last few old ages, have seen the building of a solution. As the Sun ‘s energy can non be stored for usage another clip, we need to change over the suns energy into an energy that can be stored. Due to this nature of solar energy, two constituents are required to hold a functional solar energy generator. These two constituents are a aggregator and a storage unit.

The aggregator collects the radiation that falls on it and converts a fraction of it to other signifiers of energy ( either electricity and heat or heat entirely ) . Solar aggregators use brooding stuffs such as mirrors or lenses to concentrate the Sun ‘s energy to supply heat energy which is so converted into electricity. This can be done in three ways.

“ The first method is a trough systems which use curving mirrors to concentrate the Sun ‘s heat onto a tubing which contains a fluid, normally oil. The hot oil so boils H2O to bring forth steam which is used to bring forth electricity.

Alternatively, mirrors in the form of a dish can be besides used to concentrate the Sun ‘s heat onto a receiving system. The latter transportations the solar energy to a heat engine, change overing the heat into mechanical energy which drives a generator to bring forth electricity. This method is called the dish/engine system.

A 3rd method of concentrating the Sun ‘s energy is through the usage of power towers which provide a centralised power supply with the ability to hive away energy. These systems use a big array of mirrors, called heliostats. These heliostats concentrate the heat onto a receiving system on top of the towers. The receiving system contains a fluid that one time heated can be used to bring forth steam which so turns a turbine to bring forth electricity. “ ( Markvart & A ; Castaner, 2003 )

The storage unit is required because of the non-constant nature of solar energy ; at certain times merely a really little sum of radiation will be received. At dark or during heavy cloud screen, for illustration, the sum of energy produced by the aggregator will be rather little. The storage unit can keep the extra energy produced during the periods of maximal productiveness, and let go of it when the productiveness drops. One possible method of hive awaying solar energy is by heating H2O that can be insulated. The H2O is heated by go throughing it through hollow panels. Black-coated steel home bases are used because dark colorss absorb heat more expeditiously. However this method merely supplies plenty energy for activities such as rinsing and bathing. The solar panels generate “ low class ” heat, that is, they generate low temperatures for the sum of heat needed in a twenty-four hours.

Apparently, harmonizing to International Solar Energy Pty Ltd, in order to bring forth “ high Class ” heat, intense plenty to change over H2O into high-pressure steam which can so be used to turn electric generators there must be another method. The concentrated beams of sunshine are Collected in a device called a solar furnace, which acts on the same rules as a big magnifying glass. The solar furnace takes the sunshine from a big country and by the usage of lenses and mirrors can concentrate the visible radiation into a really little country

It was found that, a backup power supply is normally usually added, excessively, for the state of affairss when the sum of energy required is greater than both what is being produced and what is stored in the container.

An issue raised by International Solar Energy Pty Ltd, was that lone parts with tonss of sunshine are suited for solar power coevals. But this concern is presently being worked on as scientists have merely late invented a fictile solar cell that can change over solar energy to electrical energy even on a cloudy twenty-four hours. This fictile device, incorporating the first solar cells able to tackle the Sun ‘s unseeable beams. Besides, the research workers are keeping this futuristic position that plastic solar panels could be laid across comeuppances to supply the full planet with adequate clean energy.

Another solution to the issue of the inconsistent visible radiation is being researched right now by Arthur D. Little Inc. The Sun ‘s beams are non changeless on Earth due to endure, location, and season. To avoid this scientists have envisioned “ immense solar powered infinite Stationss that would revolve the Earth, capable of prolonging themselves for decennaries. ” ( Committee on Aeronautical and Space Science, 2005 ) . They would bring forth electricity by a huge array of mirrors on solar cells, and so the energy would be converted to micro-waves that could be beamed to earth and so distributed. These Stationss are estimated to be approximately 10 stat mis long, and some 23,000 stat mis above the Earth. As far fetched as this seems, it ‘s really theoretically possible, and may one twenty-four hours be our beginning of power. One defect in the program nevertheless, is that there is really rather a batch of infinite dust drifting about at high speeds. If this dust collided with the solar panels, as it constantly would, they would be damaged. How much, and at what monetary value is still to be figured ( Goswami, 1997 )

Another thought is the “ solar farm. ” It would be ideally located in desert parts where it is cheery about every twenty-four hours. The farms would really reap sunlight, utilizing level home base aggregators to absorb huge sums of heat, which would in bend heat H2O. The het H2O would turn elephantine turbines, and produce electricity.

3.0 Efficiency

Solar cells, contain no moving parts, and have a on the job life of 20 – 30 old ages. Harmonizing to “ Converting the Home Builder to Construct Solar Homes-Evaluation of the Passive Solar Workshop for Builders ” by S. Klein, they are dependable because they operate for a long clip with practically no care.

Most of the photovoltaic cells on the market today operate at an efficiency of less than 15 % ; that is, of all the radiation that falls upon them, less than 15 % of it is converted to electricity. The maximal theoretical efficiency for a photovoltaic cell is merely 32.3 % , but at this efficiency, solar electricity is really economical. Most of our other signifiers of electricity coevals are at a lower efficiency than this. Unfortunately, world still lags behind theory and a 15 % efficiency is non normally considered economical by most power companies, even if it is all right for plaything and pocket reckoners. Hope for majority solar electricity should non be abandoned, nevertheless, for recent scientific progresss have created a solar cell with an efficiency of 28.2 % efficiency in the research lab. This type of cell has non been field tested. If it maintains its efficiency in the uncontrolled environment of the outside universe, and if it does non hold a inclination to interrupt down, it will be economical for power companies to construct solar power installations after all.

4.0 Environmental Sustainability

It is estimated that the sunshine that falls on the surface of the Earth in the clip period of two hebdomads is tantamount in energy to all the energy stored in all the oil and natural gas and coal and other fuels that exist on, or under the Earth ( Markvart & A ; Castaner, 2003 )

Solar power has two large advantages over fossil fuels. The first is in the fact that it is renewable ; it is ne’er traveling to run out. The 2nd is its consequence on the environment. Harmonizing to Solar Heating Systems: Analysis and Design with the Sun-Pulse Method by Gordon F. Tully, solar cell systems do non harm the environment, as do conventional methods of power coevals. The Sun is an infinite beginning of energy and since its usage for powering places causes no harm to the environment. We should utilize the clean and soundless energy beginning it to its maximal potency.

As the primary component of building of solar panels, Si, is the 2nd most common component on the planet. Therefore, there is really small environmental perturbation caused by the creative activity of solar panels. ( Markvart & A ; Castaner, 2003 )

While the combustion of fossil fuels introduces many harmful pollutants into the ambiance and contributes to environmental jobs like planetary heating and acid rain, solar energy is wholly non-polluting. While many estates of land must be destroyed to feed a dodo fuel energy works its required fuel, the lone land that must be destroyed for a solar energy works is the land that it stands on.

However, solar energy merely causes environmental break if it is centralized and produced on a mammoth graduated table. At this graduated table, the production of solar energy would hold some unpredictable negative environmental effects. If all the solar aggregators were placed in one or merely a few countries, they would likely hold big effects on the local environment, and perchance hold big effects on the universe environment. Everything from alterations in local rain conditions to another ice age has been predicted as a consequence of bring forthing solar energy on this graduated table. The job lies in the alteration of temperature and humidness near a solar panel ; if the energy bring forthing panels are kept non-centralized, they should non make the same local, aggregate temperature alteration that could hold such bad effects on the environment. ( Tully, 1981 )

In due class, solar power will cut down the emanations associated with power coevals. Consistent with, Solar Heating Systems: Analysis and Design with the Sun-Pulse Method by Gordon F. Tully, with 1 million solar energy roofs are in topographic point, could cut down C emanations equal to the one-year emanation from 850,000 autos.

5.0 Economic

For many. fossil fuels are excessively available and inexpensive for the investing in solar energy to be worthwhile. Ironically, although the Sun ‘s energy is free, the expletive of solar power is that the techniques are ever excessively expensive. ( Green Peace, 2006 )

One major concern with solar power is cost-effectiveness. The silicone used for production, is one of the most readily available elements on Earth. Nevertheless, “ the sort of class Si needed for solar cells is really expensive. It is grown in tall cylinders, and so cut in thin sections. The cutting procedure is uneconomical and expensive ” ( Pearce, 2002 ) . A new merchandise is polycrystalline Si, which is grown in thin sheets and cut in squares. In Peter Lorenz, Dickon Pinner, and Thomas Seitz article The economic sciences of solar power it states that “ Although polycrystalline is non every bit efficient as natural Si, it ‘s significantly cheaper, and take downing the cost is one of the most of import things in doing solar energy practical. ”

The initial cost of put ining a solar power system is forestalling current installing for these devices. The Australian Governments, and many others across the universe had recognize this and are offering one-year discounts and revenue enhancement inducements to clients who install the systems in their places.

Consumers with solar power systems in their places will salvage about 50-60 % on their public-service corporation measures, ( Energy Matters Pty Ltd ) . These nest eggs will transcend the original cost of a system in about 10-12 old ages. After the initial cost is covered, the client is still salvaging 1000s of dollars in public-service corporations compared to electricity and gas use.

As we burn more fossil fuels, the costs of electricity and gas would be capable to increase over the old ages. With solar powered place, monthly measures would remain about the same no affair how expensive electricity and gas become. The fiscal nest eggs of solar-powered places is an excess benefit for consumers who know that their places are assisting to continue our environment.

The great thing about solar power is that one time you ‘ve paid for the system you do n’t hold to worry about lifting public-service corporation costs. You ‘re fundamentally purchasing all your electricity at one time. However, the cost is still a chief factor to be considered. Arraies of rooftop solar panels capable of bring forthing one kW of electricity cost at least $ 7,500 even with the solar panels now bing about tierce of what they did a decennary ago. ( Lorenz, Pinner, & A ; Seitz, 2008 ) Still, the mean family requires two to four times that much power, significance that it would take about a $ 30,000 system to salvage about $ 15 per month for each kW of power generated. It would take about 20 old ages until adequate electricity would be generated to do up for the investing. ( Energy Matters Pty Ltd ) .

Despite the great cost of solar energy systems, people are still puting in them because of their obvious benefit to the environment and because one time you have it installed, the energy is free. As engineering improves, solar energy will go more economically executable because the monetary value of solar panels will travel down.

6.0 Decision

The figure of advantages associated with utilizing solar power for the hereafter, greatly out manner the disadvantages. Many of the issues explored throughout this paper are presently being research or have already solved, some of which show great promise for the hereafter. Despite being presently still rather expensive, and demoing negative effects to the environment if implemented in a big centralized graduated table, there is no uncertainty that solar energy will go on to turn and easy replace the fossil-fuelled universe around it.Besides the approaching scarceness of fossil fuels, their extremely pollutive nature makes solar energy a much healthier and wiser determination.

The fright of wash uping all our resources has besides spurred further development of alternate fuels, and created a greater involvement in get the better ofing those disadvantages of solar power that remain. Technology alterations quickly, and the figure of disadvantages of solar power that seemed virtually impossible merely a few old ages ago are now comparatively minor incommodiousnesss.

Hopefully, with continued this research, we will be in a topographic point one twenty-four hours where we can straight trust on the Sun for all our energy demands, and ne’er have to utilize pollutant non renewable resources once more. With an energy beginning like solar power, that ‘s environmentally safe, capable of bring forthing the natural power to fulfill the full planet ‘s energy demands, we would be improbably foolish non to utilize it.

Cite this page

The Renewable Energy Future Of Solar Power Environmental Sciences Essay. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

Are You on a Short Deadline? Let a Professional Expert Help You
Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7