Introduction and definition of solar energy

Solar energy
Keywords: panel, solar, thermal, photovoltaic, energy, clean, panels, solar, renewable, sun, ray, inexhaustible

Introduction

The sun "radiates" to the Earth every year 40 times the energy needs of humanity consumes in the form of fossil fuels.

Despite this, solar energy remains a relatively untapped field.

Nevertheless, the collective awareness make it a soft energy of the future (even if it has been known and used for millennia).

Thus Germany has invested heavily in this energy and Friburg, on the French Alsatian border, has become the “solar capital” not to say the “capital of the Sun”.

There are 3 uses of solar energy:

  • heat production: "solar thermal",
  • electricity production: "solar photovoltaic",
  • the production of a movement: the "mechanical solar".

Many researches are underway in these 3 areas, mainly for photovoltaics.

Indeed, the efficiency of photovoltaic cells is quite low, of the order of 20% maximum for military uses and 10 to 15% (large maximum) for civilian uses. A low yield means that many improvements are possible in this area. And solar photovoltaic research is underway ...

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Solar thermal is more common than photovoltaic, the prices and therefore the profitability of photovoltaics being so low (not to mention energy storage problems) that it is generally limited to isolated sites ...

The 3 types of solar energy in more detail:

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