We Need Energy at Every Step
Energy is the compelling force of life and we need energy at every step of life. Starting from the first button of the table lamp you put "on" when you get up, and all other chores which are performed in the house and office, are dependent on energy. Energy usage is an equivocal phrase which means that around the world every day, we are transforming a stored type of energy (gasoline, natural gas, oil, nuclear, hydroelectric, wind etc. into a new type of energy (heat for our tea, kinetic for our cars, light for our street lamps and computer monitors, and sound from our stereos). America happens to do this quite a bit and is responsible for about a quarter of world’s energy consumption , mostly due to the exuberant use of cars (a great many now SUVs), our electrical appliance use, heat for our homes, and the great amount of energy used in production and manufacturing of the country’s vast industrial and commercial enterprises.
It is not only on the ground, the usage is in air and space also. America has plenty of orbiting satellites, and Solar cells provide the energy to run these satellites. These give us satellite TV, telephones, navigation, weather forecasting, the internet and all manner of other facilities.
Just imagine you don’t have any energy ? Technologically speaking, we shall be gone backwards by many centuries. All the energy you use, obviously comes from some kind of reservoir. The countries which cannot keep such reservoir full, get the status of “under-developed” or anything less than that. And such countries cannot think of progressive commercial enterprises or development .Thus we need to ensure the continuous input of energy in the country , and though not new, but one of the cheapest, cleanest and easily available source is the Solar energy.
Sun Energy is The Cheapest Source
We've used the Sun for drying clothes and food for thousands of years, but only recently have we been able to use it for generating power. The Sun is 150 million kilometres away, and amazingly powerful. Just the tiny fraction of the Sun's energy that hits the Earth (around a hundredth of a millionth of a percent) is enough to meet all our power needs many times over. In fact, every minute, enough energy arrives at the Earth to meet our demands for a whole year - if only we could harness it properly.
America is in fact one of the leading nations engaged in efforts to harness the solar power. There are plenty of appreciable examples of America using the Solar Power. Some are stated below:
- In California, the Solar One power station uses the Sun's heat to make steam, and drive agenerator to make electricity. The station looks a little like the solar furnace , except that the mirrors are arranged in circles around the "power tower". As the Sun moves across the sky, the mirrors turn to keep the rays focussed on the tower, where oil is heated to 3,000 degrees Celsius, The heat from the oil is used to generate steam, which then drives a turbine, which in turn drives a generator capable of providing 10 kW of electrical power. Solar One was very expensive to build, but as fossil fuels run out and become more expensive, solar power stations may become a better option.
- Nellis Solar Power Plant in the United States, one of the largest photovoltaic power plants in North America. Solar power towers use thousands of individual sun-tracking mirrors (called heliostats) to reflect solar energy onto a central receiver located on top of a tall tower. The receiver collects the sun's heat in a heat-transfer fluid that flows through the receiver. The U.S. Department of Energy, and a consortium of U.S. utilities and industry, built the first two large-scale, demonstration solar power towers in the desert near Barstow, California
All such efforts on the part of government are commendable, but unfortunately the requirements are persistently rising. Every year energy consumption increases by 5% in the United States , and that is a huge responsibility for the government as well as the society to co-operate. Government is taking/ has taken many commendable steps, but the one I am going to discuss here is the "space based Solar System".
Space-Based Solar Power (SBSP)
Space-based solar power (SBSP) is the concept of collecting solar power in space for use on Earth. With this amazing technology, space-based solar power is the future of power generation It has been in research since the early 1970s. SBSP would differ from current solar collection methods in that the means used to collect energy would reside on an orbiting satellite instead of on Earth's surface. Some projected benefits of such a system are:
- Higher collection rate: In space, transmission of solar energy is unaffected by the filtering effects of atmospheric gasses. Consequently, collection in orbit is approximately 144% of the maximum attainable on Earth's surface.
- Longer collection period: Orbiting satellites can be exposed to a consistently high degree of solar radiation, generally for 24 hours per day, whereas surface panels can collect for 12 hours per day at most.
- Elimination of weather concerns, since the collecting satellite would reside well outside of any atmospheric gasses, cloud cover, wind, and other weather events.
- Elimination of plant and wildlife interference.
- Re-directable power transmission: A collecting satellite could possibly direct power on demand to different surface locations based on geographical base load or peak load power needs.
Paint-able Solar Cells
For the benefit of the public, there are two news, worth being brought into lime light.
- Although solar cells or panels is not a new concept in many countries, the scientists are continuously working to improve the efficiency of the cell , and by now we have attained some drastic improvements. Each improvement means low cost for the consumers. Hopefully with everyday passing, the prices will go down.
2. Although solar cells represent a formidable alternative energy source, high cost continues to prohibit their use. Now you can paint your house with particle which can act as Solar panels. Researchers have successfully developed solar cells that can be easily painted on to any conductive surface. Imagine, for a moment, applying this solution to your home rather than attaching solar panels to the roof. This "Paint-on solar cells" could make solar power more affordable. Solar energy is the most environment friendly , and with un-ending reservoir, it can safely be called as the “Energy of the future”.
The semiconductor paste, described in this video below , spreads onto any conductive surface to generate electricity.