Photovoltaic solar energy is one of the forms of renewable energy most used today due to its great advantages and because it is an unlimited resource.
Today renewable energies have become more important in our society.
The forms of energy that we used for many years, in addition to being limited, also have very serious effects on the environment and therefore the most appropriate thing is to make a transition from non-renewable energies to a future in which we only use renewable energies.
Let’s learn today a little more about the definition of solar energy, some of its advantages, a little history and a few more things.
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What is solar energy?
It is a form of renewable energy that uses electromagnetic radiation generated by the effect of the sun on the earth as its main resource.
This radiation reaches the earth in different forms (ultraviolet rays, light and heat).
There are different ways to take advantage of the radiation that reaches the earth at the hands of the sun: through thermal conversion, through photovoltaic conversion, among other options.
Currently, the most widely used methodology is photovoltaic conversion because it has many more advances in this area and can be adapted more quickly to the uses of today’s society.
Who discovered this renewable energy?
The sun’s energy has been a resource used by human beings since ancient times. Each society used it as it could and with the tools they had.
But it was not until 1839 when Edmond Becquerel (a physicist of French origin) was carrying out different experiments with metal electrodes and realized that when they were exposed to the sun, a greater amount of energy was produced.
Clearly, in those early years, the resources were not available to take full advantage of that energy and it was not until 1883 when another physicist (Charles Fritz) would create the first functional solar cell in history.
Over the years, many experts continued to work on solar energy, we can find such important names as Albert Einstein, Darryl Chaplin, Gerald Pearson, among many others.
As you can see, great minds have been part of the history of solar energy and its evolution.
In 1941 the first solar cell would be created and only a few years later a satellite would be launched into space depending only on these cells.
From that moment on, this form of energy has become more important in society, but despite this, only a few years ago the most significant advances in this technology have been achieved and it is already a reality and as an alternative to known forms of energy.
As we can see, the question Who discovered solar energy? You can have several answers, since really from the beginning human beings already knew about the importance of the sun, that energy simply had not been given a name and could not be used in the way we use it today.
what is the photovoltaic energy?
Now that we have answered the initial question (which is solar energy), let’s learn more about the type of energy that we will learn a little more about today: photovoltaic solar energy.
Photovoltaic solar energy is also a renewable and unlimited energy source that has very little (or no) impact on the environment.
To produce electricity, a type of material is used that has the ability to take photons (which are part of electromagnetic radiation) and convert them into electrons (particles capable of generating electricity).
One of the main characteristics of this form of energy is that it is scalable and that both large installations can be created, as well as very small and sustainable installations for homes and places with low energy consumption.
Advantages and disadvantages of photovoltaics
Let us know the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy:
Solar energy is less polluting than other sources of energy
It is not true that solar energy is not polluting and despite having very little effect on the environment, it does emit greenhouse gases that affect the environment. The advantage of this form of energy? That the production of these gases is reduced by more than 85% if we compare it with traditional forms of energy.
It is renewable and the resource it uses is unlimited
Perhaps one of the most important benefits of solar or photovoltaic energy is that the resource used (the sun and its radiation) is unlimited. That makes it a very useful renewable energy for human beings.
Easier access to rural areas
Solar energy in rural areas is much easier to install than making the effort to connect to the traditional electricity grid.
A good installation of solar panels can power a house in a rural area without any problems.
It is a fairly cheap energy
After a high initial investment, solar energy can save us a lot of money since it does not require large maintenance costs and, in addition, good quality solar panels can last more than 30 years.
Investment cost can be high
Even though over time the investment cost of solar energy installation has been reduced a bit, the initial investment is still a bit high.
It depends a lot on the weather
Bad weather conditions can mean that not as much energy is generated as on days with better weather conditions. That makes clean solar energy sometimes have some problems to generate the energy we need.
Very toxic chemicals are also produced in the production of photovoltaic panels
One of the great disadvantages is that when producing the panels that will be used to take advantage of solar or light energy, chemicals are produced that are highly polluting and do not disappear as quickly.
You already know many of the benefits and disadvantages of solar energy, also a bit of its history and which is the form of energy in which the most progress has currently been made (solar photovoltaic energy).
Now it is up to you to decide if you want to take advantage of this form of energy and start thinking about investing a little money in an installation with solar panels.
In this blog post you can learn more about the different types of renewable energy and their characteristics.