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What is Solar Energy- Types, Advantages, Disadvantages

What is Solar Energy?

Solar energy, as the name implies, is energy from the light and heat of the sun. As it is energy whose source is the sun, it will consider a clean energy source because it does not emit impurities into the air.

This way of obtaining energy is considered one of the most promising today. It is an alternative source aligned with sustainability that can generate electrical and thermal energy without causing significant negative impacts on the environment.

Types Of Solar Energy

There are 2 types of solar energy: photovoltaic, responsible for transforming sunlight into electricity, and heliothermal, which converts light into heat. Here’s how each of them works.

Photovoltaic Solar Energy

Photovoltaic solar energy consists of transforming sunlight into electrical power. This conversion will perform using photovoltaic cells made of semiconductor material (usually silicon). When sunlight strikes cells, it causes electrons in the conductive material to move and be transported through the material until they reach an electric field, thus generating electricity.

Heliothermic Solar Energy

The heliothermal system converts the energy from sunlight into heat. For this conversion, solar panels will use. Through the meetings, sunlight is reflected and concentrated in a single point with a receiver containing a liquid. The sunlight reflected on the boards heats this liquid and generates steam, moving the turbines in the plants and producing electrical energy.

Advantages Of Solar Energy

  • It is one of the most valuable energy sources today. Its main advantages are:
  • It is renewable: as it is an energy that has sunlight as its source, it can be considered inexhaustible.
  • It’s free: Although there are costs with its conversion, the energy source is free since it is a resource that comes from the sun, and it is not necessary to pay to obtain it.
  • It has low maintenance requirements: Despite being expensive, this technology equipment requires little maintenance.
  • It takes up little space: for production, it is not necessary to occupy large areas, unlike hydroelectric plants.
  • Does not pollute: Does not emit pollutants into the atmosphere.

Disadvantages Of Solar Energy

However, despite being an excellent energy source, it also has some negative points. Among them, we can highlight:

High cost:  The technology used in production is costly.

Low storage capacity: Compared to other sources, the same storage capacity is standard and yields lower.

Climate dependence: As a source that depends on sunlight, climate variations can affect energy production.

Brazilian scenario

In Brazil, despite being part of only a tiny percentage of the country’s energy matrix, it is growing more and more. Brazil is a country with excellent production potential, as it will locate in a region with a high incidence of solar rays, an extremely favorable condition for the generation of this type of energy.

Currently, the country is the leader in generation in Latin America. According to the Brazilian Association of Photovoltaic Solar Energy (ABSOLAR), about photovoltaic energy, Brazil was the 4th fastest growing country in 2021, rising to 13th place in the world ranking with about 15 GW

World Context

Photovoltaic solar energy has recently become the second most used source in the world, behind only the hydro head. This energy source surpassed the historical mark of 1 terawatt (TW) installed power worldwide in May.

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