Magoosh GRE

knowledge about Solar Power and advantages of using natural energy

| November 27, 2012

Abstract

This report is about Solar Power. Reader would be interested in reading this report because nowadays natural energy is very important and its’ importance increases every day. In report are included advantages, types, future and history of solar power. As well reader will find information about how solar thermal power works and what is the function of the photovoltaic panels. Also there is a comparison between Solar Power and other types of power sources. That will help you to understand importance of natural energy. 

Nowadays Solar Power is not as popular, as it will be in the future, because installation of systems to get energy from sun costs a lot. These factors are also introduced in this work, to show, that people must pay more attention on natural energy, to reduce price and take all advantages of it.

Aims and objectives

This project was designed to generate knowledge about Solar Power and to learn advantages of using natural energy.

The objective is to explain people how to acquaint reader with solar power using examples and interesting facts.

 

Introduction

For thousands of years, people have been using sun for simple needs, such as drying clothes and growing food. But only less than age ago, people have been able to use it for generating power.

Majority of people are used to use fossil fuels and are not interested in using new sources of energy. But they would change their opinions and their habits after they learned more about damage made by fossil fuels and all the benefits of natural materials.

 

History of Solar Power

Many consumers thinks that solar power is a relatively new power source but thats not true. The sun has been known to be a source of energy dating back to ancient times. The ancient Greek were the first to use solar power to their benefit, as they built their houses into the side of hills to take advantage of the heat storage from the sun during the day that would then be released during the night. The ancient Romans were the first people to use glass windows to steal the warmth of the sun in their homes. They were so serious about the preservation of this solar energy that they erected glass houses to create the right conditions to grow plants and seeds.

While people were benefiting from solar power, the first solar collector was built only in 1776. The collector was built by a gentleman called Horace de Saussare. This invention attracted much interest in the scientific community through the 19th century.

In the interest of making use of solar power, Auguste Mouchout created a steam engine that was powered only by solar energy in 1861. This was an exciting event, but the invention was very expensive and it could not be reproduced or even maintained so the steam engine was quickly forgotten.

It was during the later half of the 1950’s that solar power saw its first mainstream usage. The first solar water heated office building was built during this time by an architect named Frank Bridgers. A short time later a small satellite of the US Vanguard was powered by a solar cell of less than one watt.

After such big strides in the 1950’s, the solar power really took off,  because of cheap oil prices in the 1960’s, it was more affordable for people to power their homes with oil than it was to power their homes or offices with solar energy.

There was a rebirth of the solar power in the 1970’s with the steadily increased oil prices; in fact the US Department of Energy financed the Federal Photovoltaic Utilization Program. This program was responsible for the installation and testing of over 3,000 photovoltaic systems.

The 1990’s brought an even more mainstream interest in solar power. Solar power was seen as a great alternative to oil and petroleum products. During the 1990’s over one million homes had some form of solar power installed.

Today, solar energy is one of the most useful and commonly used source of energy all over the world.

 

Types of Solar Power


Solar thermal:

Solar thermal power is the process of taking heat from the sun to generate energy. This type of solar thermal power is usually installed in homes to reduce the cost of heating and cooling the dwelling.  In many cases solar thermal power is used to power the hot water system in a home.

Solar thermal power can be used in a passive or active mode.  A passive type of solar thermal system will use the convection to circulate the water where the active water heater uses a pump to circulate the water.  Solar thermal power is also used to power turbines and even some machinery.

Solar electricity:

Solar panels and are used to convert sunlight into electricity; this is probably the most commonly seen type of solar power.  This electricity can be used to power many different things in a home, such as appliances. This conversion of sunlight into electricity is done through the photovoltaic panels.

 

Advantages of Solar Power:

  • The most obvious advantage is that solar power is a renewable resource. The sun is available the world over and even though it may go behind clouds and it may go down at night, the sun is still available consistently enough to provide the power we need. In fact, the sun provides more energy than the whole world currently uses!
  • Another awesome benefit of using solar power is that it doesn’t pollute the environment in which we live. Solar power is not associated with toxins or greenhouse gasses like other forms of power are. Solar power is the only type of power that is not harmful to the environment.
  • An amazing thing about solar power is that it is free. You don’t have to pay for the sun. If you simply use solar panels or lights you don’t have to pay to run them. You do have to pay for the installation, but once this is done you get the power for free. In addition, solar cells don’t require the maintenance and they can last a life time so there is relatively little expense associated with solar power.
  • Another often overlooked advantage of solar power is that it is a silent type power. There is no need to use heavy machinery, as is the case when drilling for oil; the solar power just relies on the sun, which is silent. While most people don’t think about noise, when there is an absence of it suddenly we realize how noisy energy production currently is.

Future of Solar Power:

Solar energy has been used in some form or another since ancient times but the solar energy future remains wide open. The reason for this is that there are so many variables associated with how mainstream solar energy usage becomes.  The biggest deciding factor of solar energy in the future is its cost.

Current critics of solar energy state that overall coal and other fossil fuels are just much more affordable, but while fossil fuels may be more economical in the short term, the damage on the environment must be considered!!!

Fortunately, the cost of solar power is coming down, which means that the future of solar power is looking good. How quickly solar power is the rule not the exception really has to do with cost. The more that the government pushes consumers toward a fossil free future, the more attention solar power will get and the more attempts will be made to reduce the cost and increase the production of solar power.

 

Conclusions:

In conclusion, the advantages of solar power are vast and far reaching. Not only does this type of power benefit the individual and their home, it benefits the environment that we all live in. Solar power could not only make energy costs plummet for one and all, it could make the earth a better place to be in the long run.

 

References:

  • Miss K. L. Barraclough “A guide to report writing for first year”, School of engineering, design and technology, The University of Bradford.
  • Mrs Elizabeth Gadd “An example report” Loughborough University Library, November 2008.
  • http://www.darvill.clara.net/altenerg/solar.htm
  • Perlin, John (1999). From Space to Earth (The Story of Solar Electricity). Harvard University Press
  • Halacy, Daniel (1973). The Coming Age of Solar Energy. Harper and Row.
  • Mazria, Edward (1979). The Passive Solar Energy Book. Rondale Press
  • Bolton, James (1977). Solar Power and Fuels. Academic Press

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Category: Environmental Science, Free Essays