How Climate Change is Affecting Solar Energy

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by jmark07295685991ab01f5
Last updated 5 years ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Physics
Grade:
10

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How Climate Change is Affecting Solar Energy

Solar energy is the most abundant source to create energy. Solar panels are strategically placed to receive the most amount of sunlight. They all have a silicon semiconductor that make the electrons flow within, this makes electricity. There are 2 types of solar panels, grid-connected systems and stand-alone systems. The grid-connected systems are used for more populated areas and they use the energy right away. This is done because most of the population goes to bed at night, therefore not much electricity is needed. The stand-alone systems are only used for emergency is the grid-connected systems fail to collect energy. Both of these types of solar panels all work the same way. They both absorb energy from the sun, they then transform that energy into an AC load to the grid by inverting it through a charge controller, battery, and then inverter.

Solar Light

The climate plays a major role for solar energy. Due to the fact that solar energy needs sunlight, if that area is cloudy or rainy the solar panels that collect sunlight will not meet the expectations of the expected amount of energy. Therefore all of the backup energy that was stored will be used up, and we will have no energy left to use. The climate is the cause of why solar energy isn't as popular as it should be. For places in the world that are sunny 24/7, solar energy would be a very popular type generator.

Overall, solar energy is a very controversial energy generator. This is said because it’s supposed to be clean and pollution-free, even though this is somewhat true, it still requires exotic materials that may harm or disturb the surrounding area. For example, solar cells require copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) or cadmium telluride (CdTe). These materials are very rare to find in nature and are very expensive. Although this may disturb the surrounding area, these solar panels are also very quiet and easy to maintain. All the workers have to do is program a routine for the panels to turn at certain times, therefore they dont have to comeback every time the sun changes its angle.

Solar energy has always been compared to sources such as: nuclear, fossil, wind, hydropower, etc… Although most of these sources have pros and cons, they all work to make energy. A nuclear plant makes plenty of energy for 3 cities, while fossil energy is used within 1-2 cities. Meanwhile wind, solar, and hydropower plants only supply for ½ a city. All depending on the size of the plant and the amount of energy that the city uses, obviously the nuclear and fossil fuel plants are more popular. Although these two are the most dangerous people are looking towards a more renewable and clean energy source, such as: wind, solar, and hydropower. Solar power is the most popular out of those three because it is reliable that the sun shows every day. Around 89,000 terawatts of solar energy hits the Earth at all times, the world uses only 0, 00017% of that total.

The biggest concern for solar energy is to maintain each panel. Although it must be maintained properly, they are built to withstand plenty of harmful natural occurrences. Many consumers believe that the panels are delicate and easy to break due to the appearance that they look relatively thin. Most of these panels are made in the US and shipped to Canada for usage. In the US it is said that all of these solar panels go through rigorous testing before they get shipped to the appropriate destination. During these tests, they are proven to withstand hail, wind, rain, heat, etc… However, they obviously do not withstand against heavy hailstorms or lightening. With all this being said, this means that the polar vortex and global warming will only affect these panels a minimal.

Solar light is a growing idea not only because it’s cleaner, but also because it doesn’t require to be changed as much as regular batteries. Regular AA batteries take more than 10 hours to completely charge and be at its highest potential, while solar batteries take around 4.6 hours to fully charge. Overall, solar light is quick and easy to install and depending on the brand it could be cheaper than the average outdoor light bulb. Although some may think that solar light is dim and useless indoors, some may take it as a surprise to hear that solar light could be just as bright as some LED light bulbs. Obviously this may vary depending on the brand and how much sunlight it obtains. The sun gives about 89.000 terawatts of power every day, therefore if a bulb picks up about 0.000001TW of power, it could be enough for a single person on the planet. The suns highest peak is at noon, therefore each panel must be angled at the sun at 12:00pm.

By: Julian Mark

SOURCES:Mathias Aarre Maehlum. May 12, 2014. Energy Informative. Retrieved from http://energyinformative.org/solar-energy-pros-and-cons/#exotic-materialsJune 22, 2013. Energy.Gov. Retrieved from http://energy.gov/articles/top-6-things-you-didnt-know-about-solar-energyTimothy Sparks. December 2, 2011. Your Solar Link. Retrieved from http://www.yoursolarlink.com/blog/5-main-reasons-why-your-solar-lights-are-not-performing-as-well-as-new/Tyajah Rubeen. November 28, 2013. Batteries. Retrieved from http://www.batteries-faq.com/activekb/questions.php?questionid=55“The solar team”. December 13, 2014. Wholesale Solar. Retrieved from http://www.wholesalesolar.com/solar-information/battery-maintenanceDamon Hoppings. March 18, 2012. Alternative Energy. Retrieved from http://www.tc.umn.edu/~dama0023/solar.html


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