Monday, May 13, 2013

What is Solar Energy?

Solar Energy is nothing but the energy from Sun.  There are two types of solar energy - Thermal energy and Electric energy.  

Thermal Energy 

You can see thermal energy everywhere.  It heats our earth, our bodies and our homes.  The thermal energy dries up our clothes and also we get products from it like sun-dried tomatoes.  All this for free...  The Thermal energy is also used to heat water for house hold use and also water in swimming pools. 

Electric Energy

The electric energy uses the sun light for producing electricity by using solar cells or photovoltaics.  It can be produced in three ways.
  • Stand alone system
  • Grid-connected system
  • Back up system
The stand alone system is also called as Solar Home System.  This system is not connected to the grid.   This kind of systems are normally installed in remote areas where you do not find electricity.  It is very cheap to install solar energy system than laying cables for electricity to the remote site.  

The Grid-Connected system is a system where the utility supplied electricity is connected to the house and at the same solar energy is also connected to the house.  Electricity is supplied firstly from solar energy  and if required any need is there, it is supplied by grid.

Back up is a system connected to an unreliable grid or one of poor quality.   These  types are usually installed in areas where a lot of power blackouts occur. A small system will service the most important electrical appliances and lights, but a bigger system will be required to keep the fridge running during a blackout.

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