The Earths’ inhabitants have used solar radiation since ancient times in many different applications, including the drying of crops before conservation and heating of houses. Archimedes used solar energy to burn the Roman warship in 212 BC. He concentrated solar radiation on the enemy army ships using many of metal shields. Babylonian women also used golden vessels to concentrate solar radiation and to obtain fire.
Many scientists have used solar energy to melt metals, heat the air, convert water to steam, and distill water, and there are global plants for irrigation using solar energy, and today man is still inventing renewable means to take advantage of solar energy by converting it to other forms.
The advantages of solar energy are: renewable energy, clean, and this is the advantage of environmental safety because it does not pollute the atmosphere, and it does not leave any waste behind, which earns great advantages compared to others.
The technology used in solar energy is simple and uncomplicated compared to other energy sources that need the latest technology.
Solar energy conversion
Solar energy can be transformed into other forms of energy, such as electric power and thermal energy. Photovoltaic conversion and heat conversion are used. Photovoltaic conversion is the conversion of solar radiation directly into electrical energy using solar cells, in which case it is important to use materials that work on photoelectric conversion, known as semiconductors, the most important of which is silicon and germanium.
This phenomenon was known by 19th-century physicists to revolutionize the concepts of physics and the valuable information known at the time that light has the ability to release electrons that exist in some metals. Blue light has that ability more than yellow light it is noteworthy that Einstein received the Nobel Prize for his ability to explain this phenomenon in 1921 AD.
At present, the presence of solar cells, whether in homes, roads, or institutions and companies, is obvious. The most important features of these cells are:
- They do not consist of moving parts
- They do not need any kind of fuel
- Don’t pollute the atmosphere
- long life does not need frequent maintenance and not expensive
The principle of work is very simple, and it does not consist of any kind of optical lenses or light concentrates, so the solar panels are installed on the roofs of buildings in certain ways, for energy production, and their efficiency in the power crown is equal to 20%, while 80% is used to provide heat, heating and water heating.
Solar energy in homes
It is important to emphasize that the ability to benefit from solar energy is associated with its existence, and that is why scientists are going to find special ways to store this energy. There are many ways to store it such as thermal, electrical, mechanical, Chemical, and magnetic.
Solar energy in homes is used for many applications, the most important of which are home heating, water heating, electric power conversion, and the use of some simple electrical appliances in homes. Currently, there are many experiments to use solar energy in domestic cooking methods rather than using gas.