What are solar devices

What is solar energy

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Solar energy - what is it?

Solar energy, also called solar energy, describes the energy of solar radiation that can be technically used by humans. It can be used in the form of electricity, heat, but also chemical energy. This is made possible by nuclear fusion processes inside the sun. As a result of hydrogen burning, temperatures of around 5500 degrees Celsius prevail on its surface, some of which hit the earth's surface as electromagnetic radiation.

Very little solar energy reaches the earth's surface

While solar energy at the boundary to the earth's atmosphere has an intensity of 1.367 kW per square meter, the so-called solar constant, the radiation energy hits the earth's surface with "only" 0.114 to 0.268 kW per square meter, depending on the region. A large part of the radiated solar energy is already absorbed or reflected by the earth beforehand. Nevertheless, this “low” intensity on the earth's surface is sufficient for humans to use it technically in various areas of energy supply.

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The greatest source of energy known to man

The sun gives off almost constant radiant energy. Serious fluctuations are not known even from times long past. Thus, solar energy represents an almost limitless source of energy that, unlike fossil fuels, can hardly be exhausted. The sun, or solar energy, is the largest available source of energy for mankind and can be used in various energy areas with modern solar technology.

Worldwide availability of solar energy, image source: Wikipedia, Mlino76

Solar energy can be used in many ways

Solar energy can, for example, be used to generate heat using solar collectors. With the help of water vapor, it generates electricity within solar thermal power plants, or it is used to generate direct current through photovoltaic systems. However, the solar irradiation is subject to daily, seasonal and regional fluctuations. Theoretically, a solar farm on an area of ​​700 x 700 kilometers, set up in the sun-drenched Sahara and equipped with an efficiency of only 10 percent, would be sufficient to cover the total global energy demand.


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Solar energy even in areas with little sun

In order to be able to use solar energy independently of the radiation intensity, for example during the night, the solar energy obtained can be stored. The storage options are considered to be one of the greatest challenges, but they are constantly being pushed forward through targeted research.

Research also focuses on a possible improvement in the efficiency of the technical components of solar collectors and, in particular, photovoltaic systems in areas of the world with little sunshine. A development that aims to use the available solar radiation as effectively and inexpensively as possible.

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Tags:Solar energy, solar energy