Sun is the most significant source of energy in the world from the dawn of time. The heat and light received from the sun consist of electromagnetic radiations, including heat light and radio waves. All forms of energy (except Nuclear) ultimately comes from the sun. It has been an integral part of our Eco-system, from helping plants in making their food to melting glaciers and fulfilling other nature’s requirements. With time man has found different ways to use this abundant source of power to fulfill its own needs. In ancient times people use magnifying glasses to create a beam that could make the wood catch fire. Still, with the passage of time and innovation in technology, the man produced machines that could convert this power of sunlight into other forms of energy.
Solar energy means the energy received directly or indirectly from the sun. The process of converting sunlight into useable energy like electricity is called the solar energy process. With the invention of the solar cell, which converts direct sunlight into electricity, solar energy finds a way into our daily life. These cells are consist of p-type silicon crystal and n-type ( semiconductor). These solar cells are used to power electronic devices such as pocket calculators. Solar energy has a vast scope; it is not only used for making electricity also for heating water, making buildings withstand the heat of sunlight. It has enormous potential because the majority of our population lives in those areas sunlight the majority of their time.
The solar energy process
To further understand the solar energy process, here is some basic example light radiation causes electrons to be released and creates a potential difference so current can flow between electrodes connected to the two crystals. All wavelengths are shorter than one micrometer can produce electrical energy. Cells convert c.10% sunlight into electrical energy. Another process of solar energy starts when a collector in the solar panel collects solar energy from the sun stores it into its backup after that a chemical reaction in the machine attached with the backup converts this stored power into electricity. In another case, the heat from the sunlight heats the pipes installed on the rooftop. After that water crosses from those pipes, the heat of the pipes changes the temperature of the water, making it hotter.
In a broader perspective, solar energy covers all aspects of using sunlight in different forms of applications using photovoltaic(PV) cells, solar heating, solar thermal energy, and artificial photosynthesize.
In other words, Solar energy includes all the methods from which man can harness the power of sunlight. The technology is contently evolving, not only increasing our energy needs but also introducing new ways to use solar energy. In the present time, techniques using solar energy are becoming an essential part of catering to our energy needs; many countries, both developed or underdeveloped, are shifting towards solar energy. The latest setups of solar energy power generation can provide electricity to a small city.