What is Solar Energy

Solar energy is that which is obtained from the solar radiation that reaches the Earth in the form of light, heat or ultraviolet rays. It is a type of clean and renewable energy, since its source, the Sun, is an unlimited resource.

To transform solar energy into electrical energy, the electromagnetic radiation that comes from the Sun is collected by different means (thermal collectors, photovoltaic cells, etc.).

Solar energy

Solar energy can be harnessed in two ways: by thermal conversionwhich consists of transforming solar energy into thermal energy, and the photovoltaic conversionin which solar panels are used to collect light energy and convert it into electricity.

The energy from the Sun has been used by human beings since ancient times in multiple ways. An example of this is the use of the Sun as a source of heat to dry clothes.

Solar energy is important for the planet as it is a renewable energy resource that could reduce our dependence on highly polluting fossil fuels. In addition, it helps sustainable development, reduces pollution and reduces environmental impact.

See also Renewable Resources.

types of solar energy

Photovoltaic Solar Energy

Photovoltaic solar energy is one that takes advantage of solar radiation to transform it into electricity. It uses semiconductor panels. It is the most developed solar energy source today.

Thermal solar energy

Solar thermal or thermosolar energy is that which takes advantage of the sun’s heat to produce hot water for domestic consumption (cooking, heating, sanitary use, etc.).

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Concentrating solar thermal energy

Concentrating solar thermal energy is a type of solar thermal energy that uses mirrors to concentrate sunlight on a small space. The concentrated sunlight is transformed into heat, from which electricity is generated.

hybrid solar power

Hybrid solar energy is called that which combines two energy sources to produce electricity from a hybridization. For example, photovoltaic solar energy with fossil fuels.

solar wind power

Solar wind energy is known as that which takes advantage of the air heated by the Sun to produce electricity.

Advantages and disadvantages of solar energy

Solar energy has many positive aspects today, where it is increasingly necessary to replace the use of non-renewable fossil fuels for power generation.

Between his advantagesolar energy is renewable and, consequently, it is not polluting.

Between his disadvantagesis the fact that it is a source of energy dependent on factors such as the climate or the number of hours of the sun per year.

passive and active solar energy

Solar energy can be classified as passive or active, depending on how it is captured, converted and used.

  • active solar energy: uses photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors to collect energy.
  • passive solar energy: essentially uses bioclimatic architecture, specially designed to capture solar energy and take advantage of it.

See also: Energy