Alternatives to fuel oil and natural gas are needed to ensure California's electricity supply in the future , like solar energy in Orange County. That is probably clear to most people. In addition to renewable raw materials such as wood, renewable resources also play a key role. The sun is a particularly large reservoir. Below you will find five ways to use the sun. The possibilities are manifold and go far beyond solar panels and photovoltaic systems.

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Using Solar Energy: Making The Sun Work For You

The radiation that hits the earth from the sun not only makes life on earth possible. The sun is also an almost inexhaustible source. It is a gigantic power plant that will not work for all eternity, but for many billions of years to come. Experts estimate that the sun can meet the world's daily electricity needs for eight years. The only question is how this can be harnessed.  

In principle, there is both indirect and direct harnessing. This is because all other known energy sources are also related to the sun. Coal, natural gas and crude oil have a plant or animal origin. Because they have become the fossil fuels known to us through pressure and a lot of time. The sun enables biological existence in the near-surface environment. Organisms are dependent on the sun, no matter if they feed purely vegetable, mixed or animal. Thus, there is also a lot of sun in biomass, i.e. in wood, as well as in every living being, including humans.

Two Of The Most Popular Ways To Use Sun Energy

Important to generate thermal and electrical energy with the help of solar radiation. There are two key ways of doing this: sun energy and photovoltaicsHeating accounts for a good two-thirds of a household's energy needs. Including water heating, the share is around 85 percent. But electricity consumption is also considerable, and there is no sign of it falling. This makes it all the more.  

Using sun energy with a solar thermal system

Who does not know it in summer? Black clothing attracts the sunlight. The collectors of a solar thermal system make use of this principle. The most important components are the so-called absorber and a heat transfer medium. The absorber is the core of the system, because it absorbs the sun's radiation energy and converts it into heat. The medium, usually a mixture of water and antifreeze, which flows through the tubes, transports the thermal energy to the storage tank. In this way, homeowners can use sun energy as needed.

Using solar energy with photovoltaics

The main difference between photovoltaic and solar thermal systems is that here it is not collectors that absorb solar radiation, but solar panels. They convert the sun energy not into heat, but into electrical energy. As a rule, solar panel are made of silicon. To put it simply, the photons from the solar radiation strike the silicon atoms. This leads to so-called free charge carriers, the electrons. This in turn creates an electrical voltage in the solar panels.
Incidentally, a so-called solar facade can be equipped with photovoltaic modules as well as with elements of solar thermal energy.  

Three other ways to use solar system

Wood is not the only indirect way to use sun heat; wind and hydroelectric power also benefit from solar radiation. One example is the strength of wind currents. Below are three other ways to use sun heat.

Solar thermal power plants

These solar thermal plants are characterized mainly by the fact that the sun's rays are concentrated by numerous mirrors that hit the absorber. These convert the sun's rays into heat. Via a steam turbine, this heat is converted into mechanical power and finally, by means of a generator, into electrical power. The most common form is the so-called parabolic trough power plant. Another way are the solar tower power plants. Here there is only one central absorber, which is irradiated by hundreds of mirrors. Temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees Celsius are generated here.

Solar updraft power plant

Another type of renewable energy is the so-called upwind power plant. Here, the aim is not to concentrate solar radiation. In this case, using the sun's heat means taking advantage of the greenhouse effect. This is because the air underneath is warmed by means of a large glass roof or a large-area film. Warm air rises and is bundled in such a power plant via a chimney. This column of air has a lower density than the outside air. An updraft or lift occurs, which sets turbines in motion at the entrance to the chimney. Generators are used to convert the mechanical power into electricity.

Solar stove and solar balloon

The so-called solar stoves and balloons work on similar principles, but on a smaller scale. The balloons consist of a dark envelope. The simplest form is a tube-shaped solar balloon. Common to all forms is that the dark envelope absorbs some of the sun's heat and releases it to the air inside. The air heats up and, as in an updraft power plant, the pressure difference between the inside and the outside causes the balloon to rise. To use solar heat, a so-called solar stove can also be used. At its core is a parabolic mirror that focuses the sun's rays. In the focal point area there is a black container which serves as an absorber. It comes to a strong heating. Due to its simple construction, there are different fields of application. Thus, a solar stove can be used not only for heating water or food. It is also used in dye works or in soap production.

Passive use of the sun

However, the sun can also be used completely without auxiliary means - namely only through the building envelope. In such a case, we are talking about the so-called passive solar utilization. In this case, solar radiation enters the interior of the building through the windows. The building elements heat up and, similar to the principle of infrared heating, release the heat evenly into the environment over a longer period of time.

The following factors play a central role here:

  • a long sunshine period
  • in the best case a south orientation of the glazing
  • the window area
  • the light transmission (the so-called g-value)
  • at best, freedom from shading
  • storage and absorption capacity of the building components

If you are looking for the best solar installation in orange county you have come to the right place! Our solar company specializes in solar installation in southern california. With us you will get the best solar in orange county. Call us for a free quote!

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