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Green engineering - Essay Example

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Green engineering

In the contemporary world, many people have installed the technologies to maximally benefit from solar energy. It is not only efficient, but a sustainable energy that can be relied on even in the future. The sun provides energy in two ways; by heating and through lighting. It radiates great amount of energy that travels through space and spreads all through the earth’s surface. Naturally, the inner core of sun produces the energy through a nuclear fusion of the hydrogen and helium atoms, radiates onto the sun’s surface, and consequently emits electromagnetic radiation onto the earth using a wide variety of wavelengths (“Alternative energy” kennesaw.edu). Upon reaching the earth surface, it is harvested for greater use in various processes. Solar energy is of great importance in supporting the life and processes of plants, as well as those of humans. Specific Aspects of how Solar Energy works There are two specific technologies of converting solar energy into electricity. These are the commonly known photovoltaic systems and solar thermal systems. They both employ very distinct mechanisms to produce power from the suns light. Photovoltaic energy This system of sunlight conversion uses solar panel technologies with the photovoltaic cells as the core element in generation of power (European communities 5). Solar panels are devices or modules of a connected assembly of photovoltaic cells, with the capability of collecting the sunlight photons for conversion. The solar panels are developed in different sizes of rectangular shape, from which several can be used as a combination to produce enough electricity. The solar cells in the panels are made up of semiconductor materials (silicon is very common), whose conductivity can be increased by introducing impurities (European communities 5). Basically, in the presence of light or sunshine, some of the radiant energy that hits PV cells is absorbed and transferred to the electrons within the atoms of the semiconductor. Because of the continuous transmitting energy from the sun, electrons of the cells tend to shift from their positions as they move towards a preferential side of attraction in the cells, creating an electric voltage that can be collected and channeled (“How do solar” nwwindandsolar.com). As the electrons move, they create space for others to move into, and hence generating the current in the electrical circuit (direct conversion of sunlight into electricity). Generally, once the energy as electricity is produced, the direct current generated and collected is converted through an inverter, into alternating current required to run most electronic appliances. The electricity can also be used by connecting the inverter to any load, or connect to the battery banks to store energy for further use. Suppose one switches into solar generated electricity using this technology, he has to enquire and seek suitable number and sizes of the solar panels that can be placed on the roof s, away from shade, and in a suitable position (South facing installations on the roof recommended), with correct angle inclinations to benefit ...Show more

Summary

Name Engineering and Construction 21 November 2013 Green Engineering in Solar Energy Overview of Solar Energy It is an alternative energy source with potential applications in most activities. In recent times, when environmental degradation and the increased costs of other fuels have become a concern for human life, solar energy that comes directly from the sun provides the most flexible option of a renewable energy source and is less costly in the long run…
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