What life has taught me
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Ideas may be simple, but what makes simple idea a great one is interest. I believe that a person’s interest in any field makes him produce great ideas and achieve big. The technology I chose might be different to the typical smartphone and satellite theories but it has certainly made a huge impact and will continue to revolutionize the world. Solar energy is a natural renewable resource that is available in unlimited quantities and is a great source used for solar heating, solar photovoltaic, solar thermal energy, solar powered cars and calculators.i Solar power is energy received directly from the sun, later converted into other forms of energy. It is perhaps the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy resource available. The simplest answer to the question, why I selected “solar energy” for my essay is that, it is the cheapest resource and the more important fact is that it will never terminate.
It is currently being used to power solar cars, heaters and other important things but since it is a new invention, it will take some more time to influence the world. Inventors opened the mysteries of transforming the sun’s beams into mechanical power more than a century ago. In 1767 a Swiss scientist named Horace-Benedict de Saussure created the first solar collector, it was an insulated cubical box, layered with glass to absorb heat energy. The box later became known as the solar oven producing heat at 230 degrees Fahrenheit. In 1839, another milestone in the solar journey was achieved as a French scientist, Edmond Becquerel defined the photo voltaic effect. He placed two electrodes in an electrolyte and passes sunlight through it, as a result electricity was produced. In easy terms, photovoltaic effect is the creation of potential or electric current in a substance upon exposure to sunlight. In 1947, solar power equipment became popular in the US and there was a huge demand of solar equipment amongst the masses.
From 1959 to 1970, there were discussions about the efficiency of solar panels or cells and the reduction of costs because at that time the efficiency of solar cells was only 14 percent and was far less than the high costs of producing cells, so there were arguments between engineers, weather to continue with this technology or not. Then finally in 2012, the solar technology experienced a boom in the solar market and enormous investment has been made in utility scale solar plants. Currently, the largest solar plant is the Golmud solar park in China with an installed capacity of 200 megawatts.iiResources like coal, oil and gas are non-renewable natural resources and humans cannot rely on them forever. It takes millions of years for the formation of natural coal and oil and the consumption or the demand is rising so much that we cannot really rely on these resources for a long period of time.
Coal and oil prices have increased to such an extent that mediocre people cannot afford them. Some poor African and Asian countries are facing a lot of problems because of the scarcity of these resources. Engineers, think tanks and scientist have now come to realize that the world now demands a better and a cheap renewable resource to power electricity, cars, industries, space crafts and much more. There is only one time investment and the fruit is forever. There are no negative externalities and no danger to the environment or the wild life whereas using crude oil and coal in industries and cars exhibits a lot of toxic gasses that pollute the rivers and harm the air we breathe. The mechanism involved in producing energy from sun beams is not very complicated, however it’s true that it is not easy for a non-technical person to understand it without a hitch. As light strikes on silicon semi-conductor, it causes electrons to flow, producing electricity. Solar panels produce direct current which goes through power inverter to become alternating current so that it can be used in homes or offices.
There are two kinds of power generating systems, namely grid connected systems and standalone systems. Grid systems are attached to the commercial power infrastructure and provide electricity for schools, homes and commercial places. The surplus energy stored can be sold to the utility power companies. The standalone systems provide energy for immediate use and can be used in remote places where infrastructure is unavailable. In this modern era, solar powered cars are considered one of the best friends of future. A solar powered car is environmentally and budget friendly and among all automobile advancements, solar cars stand alone. The batteries do not work only during the day time, they store energy and can operate during night as well. Compact cars are winning the battle against big cars because of fuel prices and eco-awareness. Another milestone in this invention is the solar heating system or the solar geyser. Water heating is highly energy intensive and it can be a great solution to high costs especially in cold places like Massachusetts and Michigan.
A module of sunlight based tubes is introduced on a top or sun-exposed range. Cool water passes through the tubes and is warmed by the sun, streaming to a protected barrel once warmed. There lie’s no doubt in the fact that, converting sun light into solar energy or power is one of the greatest technological advancements for the last 200 or more years. With the extinction of non-renewable resources, solar power would unquestionably be a major source to run the world as it is available in unlimited quantities and is a renewable resource. The lack of negative externalities also contribute to a healthy society, making earth a better place to live. It is estimated that the world’s oil reserves will last for 30 to 40 years. On the other hand, solar energy is infinite (forever).