Solar Energy is a site where we explain the most important elements related to solar energy. The intention of its authors is to give general information about everything that surrounds this technology and a review of the related aspects of physics. If you haven't found what you were looking for on the web, here is a list of all the pages we have published.
- What Is Solar Energy?
Solar energy is energy that comes from the Sun. It is a renewable energy source that converts solar radiation into electricity or thermal energy.
- Solar Radiation
Solar radiation is the amount of energy from the sun that is received on a certain surface and time.
- Solar Irradiance
Solar irradiance is a magnitude that indicates the power received from solar radiation per unit area. What is the difference with solar irradiation?
Find out how solar radiation spreads in the atmosphere and on the earth's surface depending on the type of radiation.
Solar fluctuations are variations in the amount of radiation emitted by the Sun, characterizes changes over time, its spectral distribution and the phenomena that accompany these changes.
The solar maximums and minimums are the times when the Sun has a greater and lesser solar activity respectively within a solar cycle.
The solar radiation that reaches the Earth is divided into different types of radiation: direct, indirect and infrared. How are measurements made for each one of them?
The pros and cons of solar energy. Installation cost, environment and efficiency compared to other energy sources.
- Advantages of Solar Energy
The advantages of solar energy depend on the characteristics of the installation. In comparison with other energy sources, it has numerous characteristics that make it a very favorable source of energy.
Analysis of the disadvantages of solar energy compared to other sources of energy. The characteristics of an installation could imply that a facility would not be viable in certain cases.
A solar panel is a device for harnessing solar energy. There are solar panels to obtain electricity or thermal energy.
- Hybrid Solar Panel
A hybrid solar panel allows the solar energy to be converted part into electrical energy and part into thermal energy.
Active solar energy are systems that take advantage of solar radiation using mechanical or electrical elements to improve performance.
- Example of Active Solar Energy
A solar thermal power plant is an example of active solar energy. Find out what external active systems you need to function.
Active solar heating systems use solar energy to heat a fluid and then transfer the solar heat directly to the interior space or to a storage system for later use.
Passive solar energy is a technique to design buildings taking advantage of solar energy without transforming artificially.
- Bioclimatic Architecture
Bioclimatic architecture is a type of ecological construction more sustainable with the environment and reduces energy consumption in a natural way.
- Bioclimatic Strategies
In architecture there are strategies to take advantage of natural resources to obtain thermal comfort in a home and reduce electricity consumption.
Systems to consider for heat transfer in a passive solar energy installation. Mechanisms for the transmission of heat by conduction, convection and radiation.
Strategies and inventions created by mankind for the use of solar energy throughout history.
Thermodynamic solar energy is a combination of aerothermal and solar thermal energy.
Thermal solar and photovoltaic energy share the same energy source but there are several differences between them. Which system is better?
Photovoltaic solar energy consists of the direct transformation of solar radiation into electrical energy. Explanation of the two types of photovoltaic systems.
- Photovoltaic Effect
The photovoltaic effect is the effect that allows you to transform solar energy into electrical energy by means of photovoltaic cells.
Applications in which the use of photovoltaic solar energy in different fields. Applications in isolated systems and connected to the electrical network.
Solar panels efficiency is the percentage of solar energy that is transformed into electrical energy. What does it depend on? How can it be improved?
Set of elements that make up a photovoltaic solar installation. Differences between an autonomous solar installation and an installation connected to the electricity network.
- Photovoltaic Panel
A photovoltaic panel is a set of interconnected photovoltaic cells. Its function is to generate electricity using solar energy.
- Photovoltaic Cell
The photovoltaic solar cell is responsible for transforming light into electrical energy. Photovoltaic cells are the basic components of photovoltaic modules.
- Types of Photovoltaic Cells
There are different types of cells depending on the nature and characteristics of the materials used. The most common type is the crystalline silicon cell.
A thin film solar cell is a second generation of solar cells that is made by depositing one or more thin layers.
Silicon is a chemical element with excellent semiconductor properties. Silicon is a component that is widely used in photovoltaic panels due to its properties.
- Polycrystalline Silicon
Polycrystalline silicon is a material that is used to make solar panels and in electronics. Here we explain it to you.
Monocrystalline silicon is the material used to make photovoltaic cells. It has a great ability to absorb radiation.
There are several types of photovoltaic solar panels. The most common types are monocrystalline photovoltaic panels, polycrystalline solar panels, and thin-film solar panels.
A photovoltaic panel is made up of, in addition to photovoltaic cells, a set of elements to give it robustness and functionality.
Optimization of the inclination, orientation and location of photovoltaic solar panels and solar collectors in a solar installation to maximize the use of renewable energy.
Peak power is the maximum electrical power that a photovoltaic panel can generate under certain conditions.
Solar batteries accumulate the energy generated in photovoltaic panels. Operating principle and types of batteries.
The current converters transform the direct current generated by the photovoltaic panels into alternating current.
A solar tracker is a device that follows the Sun. The main application is to obtain solar energy, either by putting flat or concentration photovoltaic panels.
The system balance represents the components of a solar photovoltaic system with the exception of the photovoltaic modules.
Photovoltaic installations connected to the electricity distribution network have the possibility of selling the energy generated to the electricity company. In this way, the use of the generated energy is optimized.
- Components of Network Installations
Basic elements of a photovoltaic solar energy installation connected to the electrical network. Photovoltaic panels, power inverters and meters.
Isolated photovoltaic solar energy installations. This type of installation does not have access to the electricity grid. All the energy generated is for your own consumption.
- Accumulators of Electricity
Electric accumulators are responsible for storing the energy generated by photovoltaic panels to be able to supply when necessary.
The charge regulator ensures that both the charging and discharging of the accumulators are carried out correctly.
A solar photovoltaic power plant is a set of solar installations destined to generate electricity through solar radiation.
- The Largest Plants in the World
Description and characteristics of the largest photovoltaic plants in the world. India, China and the United States are the undisputed leaders.
Floating solar power plants are photovoltaic plants installed in water. The main floating plants are located in India and China.
Solar thermal energy converts solar energy into thermal energy. It is used to obtain hot water or electricity in large power plants.
- Solar Thermal Applications
Discover 8 examples of solar thermal energy applications. Domestic hot water, concentrated solar power systems, and much more.
- Domestic Hot Water
The use of solar energy to obtain domestic hot water is one of the most efficient resources to save energy. Find out how it works.
- Thermosyphon Solar Systems
Solar thermosiphon systems have a natural circulation of the working fluid. This circulation is based on convection currents that form in fluids at different temperatures.
Forced circulation solar water heaters are solar thermal energy installations in which a water pump is needed for the circulation of water.
The generation of fuel through solar energy is a technique based on generating chemical reactions using solar radiation.
The profitability of a thermal solar energy installation depends on the calculation of factors such as solar availability or dimensioning.
Solar thermoelectric energy allows the generation of electrical energy by means of thermal solar energy. Solar radiation is transformed into heat and later into electricity.
- High-temperature Solar Thermal
The high-temperature solar collectors work at temperatures above 500 ° C. They are used for power generation. Desctiption of the technologies used.
A solar thermal power plant or solar thermal power plant is an industrial installation in which solar radiation is used to generate electricity.
Looking for ways to develop sustainable energy is a priority. Here, you will learn what concentrated solar power is and why it's an important part of our future.
The components that a solar thermal energy system needs in order to work. The main ones are solar collectors, a heat exchanger and an accumulator.
- Thermal Solar Collectors
The solar thermal collector is the component of a solar thermal installation, responsible for capturing the heat that comes from solar radiation. Types of solar collectors and characteristics.
- Flat Plate Collector
The flat plate solar collector is a type of solar panel that uses solar energy to convert it into heat. It is the solar thermal collector most used for domestic installations.
Parabolic solar collectors are specially designed to obtain high temperatures. Find out how they work and what they are used for.
The evacuated tube solar collector consists of a set of cylindrical tubes, formed by a selective absorber, located on a reflector settlement and surrounded by a transparent glass cylinder.
A solar accumulator is an element in charge of storing the energy obtained through solar energy for when it is necessary to use it.
A heat exchanger is a device designed to transfer heat between two media that are separated by a barrier or that are in contact.
A solar concentrator is a device that concentrates solar radiation at one point. It is mainly used in solar thermal energy installations.
A heliostat is a device that is used to guide and concentrate the sun's rays. It is used in solar thermal power plants and other fields such as astronomy or geodesy.
Low-temperature solar thermal energy uses solar energy to obtain temperatures below 65ºC. Applications: water heating, heating, pool heating ...
Low temperature thermal solar energy is used in applications that require temperatures between 100ºC and 250ºC.
A solar furnace is a structure that concentrates solar radiation to produce high temperatures using parabolic reflectors or heliostats.
The solar system is the star system that is made up of the Sun and the objects that orbit around it. How it was formed, characteristics and composition.
- The Sun
The Sun is the main source of energy on Earth. Characteristics and data. Internal structure. And how is the sun's energy generated?
- Structure of the Sun
The structure of the Sun is made up of 6 layers differentiated between internal and external layers. The outer layers make up the solar atmosphere.
- Inner Layers of the Sun
The internal structure of the Sun is responsible for generating energy. It is made up of three layers or zones.
The Sun is made up of 3 inner layers. The photosphere is the layer closest to the nucleus, the chromosphere and the chronoa which is the outermost layer.
The Sun is the source of life on Earth. The life of animals and plants depends on it. It provides heat, energy, light and allows the Earth to spin.
A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon comes between the Earth and the Sun causing the sun to be covered.
The solar system is made up of 8 planets divided into the inner planets and the outer planets. Brief description of each of them.
Earth is the planet where we live. It is the third in the solar system and the only one that meets the necessary conditions for life.
- Imaginary Earth Lines
The imaginary lines of the Earth are lines drawn on the planisphere map in which the continents and the oceans that go from this to west and from north to south are represented.
The term climate change refers to variations in Earth's climate of one or more years. What causes it and what consequences does it have.
- What Is the Greenhouse Effect?
The greenhouse effect allows solar radiation to pass through the atmosphere of a planet but makes it difficult to release thermal energy from it.
Global warming is the process of gradually increasing the temperature of planet Earth. The main cause is the increase in greenhouse gases.
The ozone layer is the part of Earth's atmosphere with high ozone levels. This layer prevents the entrance of most of the solar radiation, which allows life.
Photosynthesis is a chemical process that converts carbon dioxide into organic compounds, especially using the energy of solar radiation.
- Stages of Photosynthesis
Photosynthesis is the way plants convert solar energy into nutrients. This process is carried out in two stages.
The average distance from the Sun to the Earth is about 150 million km. However, this distance varies as it orbits the Sun.
Renewable energies come from inexhaustible natural sources. Advantage. Types of renewable resources and examples.
- Geothermal Energy
Geothermal energy is a renewable energy that takes advantage of the heat in the inner layers of the earth. It is a clean, efficient and constant energy.
Geothermal energy is the discipline that studies the set of natural phenomena involved in the production and transfer of heat or thermal energy from the interior of the Earth.
The uses of geothermal energy can be divided into three main fields: the direct use of heat, heating and cooling and the generation of electricity.
- Geothermal Heat Pump
The geothermal heat pump is an air conditioning and heating system for buildings that exploits the heat from the ground.
Obtaining electrical energy through geothermal energy. Geothermal power plants are responsible for converting heat inside the earth into electricity.
Geothermal energy is energy obtained from the heat stored inside the Earth. Its use implies certain advantages and disadvantages.
Geothermal energy has certain advantages compared to other renewable and non-renewable energy sources.
Geothermal energy, despite being a renewable energy, has certain drawbacks in different aspects.
The origin of terrestrial heat is the sum of physical and chemical processes that take place inside it. Processes and types of deposits.
A geothermal plant is an installation where electricity is generated by geothermal energy, that is, the heat energy inside the Earth.
Wind energy is a renewable energy whose origin is wind, that is, it transforms the kinetic energy of wind into other forms useful for human activities.
- Advantages and Disadvantages
Know the advantages and disadvantages of the use of wind energy compared with other sources of renewable or non-renewable energy.
A wind turbine is a machine to convert wind kinetic energy into electrical energy. Wind turbines are the essential elements for wind energy.
Hydropower takes advantage of the force of water to obtain energy. How do you get it? We explain it to you with real examples.
- Hydroelectric Power
We explain how hydroelectric power works. How important are dams to generate electricity? What are the methods to get electricity from water power?
A hydropower plant is a facility designed to generate electricity by dropping a volume of water from a certain height.
A mini-hydro power plant is a power station, which works using hydraulic energy. They are characterized by the fact of having a reduced installed power.
Water turbines allow the force of water to be converted into mechanical energy. Discover the different hydraulic turbine designs and how they work.
- Kaplan Turbine
The Kaplan turbine is an ideal hydraulic turbine for small heads and with large flows. Here we explain why it has such a high performance.
The Francis turbine is a hydraulic turbine that combines both radial flow and axial flow concepts. It is the type of turbine most used in hydroelectric plants.
A Pelton turbine is a hydraulic turbine. It is one of the most efficient turbines of the types of turbines used in hydroelectric power plants.
Find out the advantages and disadvantages of hydraulic energy. Is it really a clean and sustainable energy source?
Evolution of hydraulic energy throughout history. From the Persian Empire to the present day with the development of hydraulic turbines.
Biomass is made up of biological waste (plants, animals and algae). Find out what it is for and how you can get energy from it.
Tidal energy is the energy obtained from the movements of water caused by the tides. It represents a source of renewable energy.
Blue energy is the energy that comes from osmosis. Such a difference can be used in places where fresh water flows into the sea.
Technologies for obtaining renewable energy in the development phase. In addition to the main sources of renewable energy there are many other technologies that could be important in the future.
Non-renewable energy is energy generated through an exhaustible energy source. For example, fossil fuels and nuclear energy.
- Fossil Fuels
Fossil fuels are those fuels caused by the partial decomposition of organic matter millions of years ago. Coal, oil and natural gas
Petroleum is a fossil fuel. It is a complex non-homogeneous mixture of hydrocarbons formed by hydrogen and carbon.
- Petroleum Formation
Petroleum is a derivative of old fossilized organic materials, such as zooplankton and algae. Oil is a fossil fuel from which non-renewable energy can be obtained.
Coal is a naturally occurring sedimentary rock. I know as fossil fuel for its high calorific value.
Natural gas is a fossil fuel. It is made up of a mixture of hydrocarbons. It has a very high calorific value.
Fossil energy is energy that comes from the combustion of fossil fuels. It is a non-renewable energy source.
Fracking is the exploitation of the pressure of a fluid, to create propagate a fracture in the subsoil for the extraction of oil or gas.
Biofuels are fuels obtained from biomass or organic waste. They are also called biofuels or agrofuels.
- Generations of Biofuels
The different generations of biofuels indicate the evolution that the production of this energy resource has had over time. Currently, there are 4 different generations.
Biofuels are used to generate different types of liquid fuels. In this section we analyze the pros and cons of each of them.
Nuclear energy is the energy obtained from the division (nuclear fission) or from the union (nuclear fusion) of an atom.
A thermal power plant is a plant that generates electricity by transforming heat. Fossil fuels are normally used as a heat source.
- Conventional Thermal Power Plants
Steam power plants are power plants that use a heat source to generate electricity using steam.
Electricity is the form of energy due to the movement of electrons or gates. Learn in a simple way how electrical energy is transmitted.
- Types of Electricity
Electricity is due to the presence and flow of electrical charges. Depending on whether the loads are moving or not, there are two types: static and dynamic.
Electric current is the flow or movement of electric charges, normally through a cable or any other conductive material. The unit of measurement is Ampere A.
- Electric Charge
The electrical charge is a fundamental conserved size for certain subatomic particles that determine its electromagnetic interactions.
Current intensity is the electrical charge that passes through a section of the conductor in a unit of time. In the SI of measures it is expressed in amps.
The ampere is the base unit of the international measurement system that is used to measure the intensity of electric current.
The Ampere-hour Ah and the milliampere-hours mAh are the units used to specify the charge capacity of a battery.
Alternating current is a type of current characterized by changing over time, either in intensity or in direction, at regular intervals.
- History of Alternating Current
How alternating current was discovered and how it was imposed on direct current for the distribution of electricity.
Direct current is a type of electric current where the direction of flow of electrical charges does not vary. Electrons always flow in the same direction.
The volt is the unit of electrical potential of the international measurement system. It is the tension between two points of a conductor.
The watt is the unit of electrical power, it measures the energy per unit of a second. One watt equals one July per second.
The kilowatt is a unit of power equivalent to 1000 watts. The watt is the unit of international system, equivalent to one joule per second.
The rated voltage is the specific potential difference for which an electrical installation or equipment is designed.
Electricity generation is the process of generating electricity from primary energy sources usually with the help of generators.
- Electric Generator
An electric generator is a device designed to produce electricity from mechanical energy. How it works and types of generators.
An electrical power plant is a facility capable of generating and supplying electricity. Find out what types of exchanges exist and how they work.
Static electricity is the passage of electrons from one material to another. This transfer usually occurs by heat. Examples.
An electrical circuit is a system formed by a set of interconnected electrical elements. Find out how it works.
- Types of Electrical Circuits
Classification of the different types of electrical circuits by type of electrical current and by connection.
The generator of an electric circuit is a device capable of creating a difference in electric potential at its terminals.
An electrical conductor is a material in which electrons can pass well. For example, electrical cables are constructed from conductors of electricity.
An electrical resistance is an element of an electrical circuit that hinders the passage of electrical current. Find out what happens and what it is used for.
Laws and theorems developed throughout history to study and understand how an electric current acts in a circuit.
- Ohm's Law
Ohm's law is a formula used in electricity to relate current, voltage, and electrical resistance.
Joule's law is a physical law that expresses the relationship between the heat generated and the electrical current that passes through a conductor over time.
Ampère's law is one of the fundamental laws of classical electrodynamics. This law relates the intensity of current to the magnetic field.
Coulomb's law establishes the force exerted by two electric charges separated by a certain distance from each other. Description with examples.
Thermodynamics studies the movement of heat between a physical system. This study is determined by thermodynamic principles.
- Laws of Thermodynamics
Thermodynamics is based primarily on a set of four universally valid laws when applied to thermodynamic systems.
- Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics
The zeroth law of thermodynamics states that when two bodies are in thermal equilibrium with a third, they are in thermal equilibrium with each other.
First law of thermodynamics: Energy is neither created nor destroyed, it remains constant. Principle of energy conservation.
- Limitations of the First Law
The first principle of thermodynamics does not explain everything about the development of a thermodynamic process. Here we explain the three limitations of this law.
Examples to illustrate the first law of thermodynamics. Just like the law of conservation of energy: energy only transforms.
Beginnings of the first law of thermodynamics and the history of thermodynamics in general. Works by Mayer, Joule and Carnot.
Explanation of the second law of thermodynamics. Its relation to entropy and machine performance. Examples related to the second principle.
The third law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of a system at the temperature of absolute zero is a well-defined constant.
A thermodynamic system is a defined macroscopic region of the universe that is studied from the principles of thermodynamics.
- Open System
An open system is a system that continuously interacts with its surroundings. The interaction can take the form of information, energy or material transformations at the border with the system.
A closed system can exchange energy (heat and work) but not matter with the surroundings. Examples in real life.
A thermodynamic state is a set of values of properties of a thermodynamic system that must be specified in order to reproduce the system.
A thermodynamic cycle is a circuit of thermodynamic transformations carried out in one or more destined devices. The objective is to obtain work from two sources of heat at different temperatures.
- Rankine Cycle
The Rankine cycle is a thermodynamic cycle composed of two isoentropic transformations and two isobars. Its purpose is to transform heat into work.
A thermodynamic process is the evolution of certain thermodynamic magnitudes related to a certain thermodynamic system. These transformations must go from a state of initial equilibrium to an end state.
- Isothermal Process
An isothermal process is a thermodynamic transformation at constant temperature. Examples and effects on ideal gases.
An adiabatic process is a thermodynamic process in which the system does not exchange heat with its surroundings. Examples of adiabatic processes.
- Adiabatic Wall
An adiabatic wall is a wall that does not allow heat transfer from one side to the other. It does not allow the transfer of thermal energy from one side to the other.
In thermodynamics, an isobaric process is a process that is carried out at constant pressure. Definition and examples of isobaric processes.
The isocoric process is a thermodynamic process that occurs in a constant volume. In an isochoric process, the pressure of an ideal gas is directly proportional to its temperature.
A thermodynamic property is a characteristic that allows the changes of the work substance, that is, changes of energy. They can be classified between intensive and extensive properties.
Temperature is a magnitude that highlights the thermal energy of a body. It is represented by the Celsius, Kelvin and Farenheid scales.
- Temperature Scales
The temperature scale is a methodology for calibrating the temperature of an object. The main temperature scales are Kelvin, Celsius, Fahrenheit, and Rankine.
The degree Celsius is the unit of a temperature measurement scale. The Celsius scale sets the melting point of ice at 0 ° C and the boiling point at 99,974 ° C.
Kelvin is the temperature unit of the International System. A difference of one kelvin is equivalent to that of one degree Celsius.
The degree Fahrenheit is a unit of temperature. The Fahrenheit degree is not a SI unit. The Fahrenheit scale is officially used in five countries: the Bahamas, Belize, the Cayman Islands, Palau, and the United States.
The boiling temperature of pure water at sea level is 100 degrees Celsius. However, under certain conditions this is not the case. Why?
The melting point is the temperature at which a substance goes from a solid to a liquid state.
A temperature sensor is a device that measures temperature through electrical signals. Find out what they are used for and what type they can be.
The different types of instruments for measuring temperature. Description of the different types and what they are for.
Heat is the energy that is transferred as a result of a chemical or nuclear reaction between two systems or between two parts of the same system.
A calorimeter a device to measure the amount of heat released or absorbed in any physical, chemical or biological process.
Heat transfer is the flow of heat between two bodies at different temperatures. The transfer can be done by radiation, conduction or convection.
Thermal energy is the part of the internal energy of a thermodynamic system in equilibrium that is proportional to its absolute temperature.
In thermodynamics, internal energy is the total energy that a thermodynamic system contains, the sum of the internal potential energy and the internal kinetic energy.
Entropy is a defined quantity to predict the evolution of thermodynamic systems. It is an extensive state function.
Enthalpy is a state of thermodynamics function that measures the maximum energy of a thermodynamic system theoretically capable of being removed from it in the form of heat.
Heat and temperature are two related thermodynamic properties that are often confused. Find out what differences exist between them.
Chemical thermodynamics is the branch of thermodynamics that studies the thermal effects caused by chemical reactions, called the heat of reaction.
- Chemical Energy
Chemical energy is the potential of a chemical substance to undergo a transformation through a chemical reaction.
The history of thermodynamics is a fundamental piece in the history of physics, chemistry, and science in general. Its evolution is finely woven with the developments of mechanics, magnetism, and chemical kinetics, to apply in a variety of fields.
- William John Macquorn Rankine
William John Macquorn Rankine was a Scottish engineer and physicist. He wrote standard works of mechanics, steam theory and practice, civil engineering principles and mechanical construction principles.
Blog about solar energy. Find here interesting articles, opinions and studies that help you better understand the world of solar energy.
- How Does Electricity Affect the Environment?
Since the discovery of electricity, its use has grown exponentially. Electricity generation affects the environment in the following way.
Solar energy is a good opportunity to save energy and reduce the cost of a home's electricity bill. Find out how to do it!
Luminescent solar concentrators capture solar radiation over a large area to generate electricity cheaply and efficiently.
Hybrid solar system is a photovoltaic system that includes other sources that generate electricity. These sources can be diesel or wind generators.
Each of the particles that make up the light. A photon is the quantum of energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation, emitted or absorbed by matter.
The war of the currents is a term for the fight between the manufacturers of the two different feeding systems, alternating current and direct current in the United States.
A Stirling engine is a thermal machine based on the heating and cooling of a gas. It was invented as an alternative to the steam engine.
Kinetic energy is a form of energy that a body has in motion due to the inertia of mass. The kinetic energy is directly proportional to the mass and the square of the velocity.
Photovoltaic is everything related to the conversion of light into electrical energy. Photovoltaic panels develop this concept.
A steam turbine is a device that is used to convert the high pressure of the steam into the rotation of an axis that provides power output.
Thermal sensation is a measure of the sensation of cold or heat that humans perceive in the air as a function of wind, the Sun or humidity.
An electrolyte is a substance that when dissolved is electrically conductive. They are important in engineering (batteries) and in health (minerals in the blood).
Common questions and answers about home solar installations. Photovoltaic and thermal, amortization, maintenance ...