Solar energy


Currently one of the most relevant issues in the world is the critical situation of the environment . Various NGOs (non-governmental organizations) have been created that seek to solve the problem and reduce the different actions that it affects against it. Among the most profitable solutions is the replacement of electric current by renewable energy methods, in this case solar energy .


What is solar energy?

The solar energy as its name implies, is an energy that is coming from the sun , using different equipment is allowed to be received and converted by different teams to produce electricity or as a heating system. Solar energy is currently the most widely used renewable energy in the world, generating 4 times more per year than we actually consume globally.

  • What is solar energy?
  • History
  • What is it for
  • Characteristics of solar energy
  • Types
  • Where is it obtained from
  • How is it obtained
  • How does it work
  • Advantages of solar energy
  • Disadvantages
  • Use of solar energy in the world
  • Importance

What is solar energy?

It consists mainly of an energy system that is produced by the sun’s rays . The earth receives about 174 petawatts daily through radiation-laden rays ( this depends on the time of day ), these are used by equipment such as photoelectric cells, heliostats or thermal solar collectors with which energy is transformed into electricity or thermal.



It is for the 1860s when the first developments of solar technologies begin to be seen , the first investigations arise during the forecasts of the experts about the coal shortages, however, during the twentieth century the investigations stagnated due to the increase in the economy based on oil and coal.

The new push projects receiving thanks to the oil crisis crossed in 1973 and 1979, where leverage and the United States and Japan the first organizations seeking to create a sustainable program based on the sun rays are created; these called the Photovoltaic Utilization Program (USA) and SunShine Program (Japan).

What is it for

  • Provides the best type of renewable electrical energy.
  • It allows to heat homes through a heating system and also allows the water distributed to homes to be heated .

Characteristics of solar energy

  • Until now it is the best type of renewable energy that can be used.
  • Every year new projects are developed to use this energy to replace electric current.
  • Currently there are towns in Europe that are supplied by fields of photovoltaic cells .
  • Every day that goes by they seek to develop more equipment that works from solar energy.


The different types of solar energy are:

  • Active solar energy: this is the one for low temperature use in which it is used in houses.
  • Passive solar energy: this takes advantage of solar energy without any type of special mechanical system.
  • Solar thermal energy: This is used in the domestic area, specifically in heating and water heaters.
  • Photovoltaic solar energy : It is the most used type of energy, it produces electrical energy through photovoltaic cells, which alter solar radiation due to its semiconductor capacity .
  • Concentrating solar thermal energy: It is another of the methods of electricity production through a conventional thermodynamic cycle.
  • Hybrid solar energy : Combines solar energy with another type of energy, whether renewable or non-renewable.
  • Solar wind energy : It is a type of energy which works from air heated by the sun which is pushed by chimneys to the generators.

Where is it obtained from

The earth constantly receives solar radiation (it is called insolation) in total the planet receives 174 petawatts, this is received from the highest layer of the atmosphere. Not all the energy remains on the earth as 30% returns to space while the clouds , the ocean and the terrestrial platform store the rest.

There is an electromagnetic spectrum of sunlight which occupies the surface of the earth and is made up of visible light and the infrared ranges, in addition to some UV flashes .

How is it obtained

There are different ways to obtain solar energy , these are:

  • By heat chimneys.
  • By photo voltaic cells.
  • By solar thermal collectors
  • By Heliostats.
  • By central with towers and parabolic mirrors.

How does it work

  • The light is received by any of the equipment described above.
  • It is taken to the energy collectors.
  • From collectors it is transferred to energy converters.
  • After converting the energy, it is taken to the generators to take the energy to its destination.

Advantages of solar energy

The main advantages of solar energy are:

  • It is renewable and inexhaustible.
  • It does not pollute the environment and reduces global warming .
  • Reduces the consumption of fossil fuels and energy imports.
  • Contributes to sustainable development.
  • It is a modular system which allows it to be accepted in any situation.
  • This system can be applied not only on a small scale but also on a larger scale in order to supply cities and states.
  • It generates a large number of local jobs.


The only major disadvantage that has arisen so far is its high production or manufacturing costs and, in turn, installation costs, which does not allow anyone to easily access it.

Use of solar energy in the world

  • The Helios is a prototype plane Solar unmanned which was a development project of NASA .
  • The 150 MW Andasol  thermosolar plant is the commercial parabolic disc plant, which is established in  Spain .
  • The photovoltaic canopies that are mounted in the parking lot of the Autonomous University of Madrid .
  • The Solar Car Team of the University of Tokyo, who won the 2009 Global Green Challenge award.


The solar energy is the best energy the world can use, although their equipment is quite costly represent a major change in the global warming in the long run, it is also a power system renewable and totally safe since the sun is an inexhaustible source of energy thus allowing to cover the need of the human being as far as electrical energy is concerned.

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