Photosynthesis is a chemical process that converts carbon dioxide into organic compounds, especially, using the energy of solar radiation.
Photosynthesis occurs in plants, algae, and some groups of bacteria, but not in archaea. Photosynthetic organisms are called "photoautotrophs," but not all organisms that use light as an energy source effect photosynthesis, since "photoheterotrophs" use organic compounds, not carbon dioxide, as a carbon source. In plants, algae and cyanobacteria, photosynthesis uses carbon dioxide and water, releasing oxygen as a waste product. photosynthesis is crucial…
The efficiency of photovoltaic cells is one of the elements that determine the production of a photovoltaic solar energy installation. The other factors that determine the performance of a solar plant are latitude and climate.
The conversion efficiency value of a photovoltaic cell depends on several factors. When we refer to conversion efficiency, we refer implicitly to the thermodynamic efficiency, to the separation efficiency of the load carrier, to the reflectance efficiency and to the values of conduction efficiency. These parameters are difficult to measure…
The bioclimatic architecture enters what is called passive solar energy. This type of architecture uses natural elements of the place (sun, wind, water, soil and vegetation) to achieve thermally efficient buildings capable of satisfying thermal comfort requirements, regardless of the use of air conditioning systems.
The bioclimatic approach is related to the principle of self-sufficiency and the realization that the main phenomena that negatively affect the environment are caused by the consumption of large amounts of non-renewable energy, fossil fuels or nuclear energy. Construction…
A photon is the quantum of energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation, emitted or absorbed by matter.
A photon is an elementary particle, the quantum of all forms of electromagnetic radiation, including light. It is the particle mediating the electromagnetic force, even when it is static through virtual photons.
The photon has zero mass at rest and consequently the interactions of this fundamental force are observable at both microscopic and macroscopic scale.
Like all elementary particles, photons are explained by quantum mechanics but exhibit wave-particle duality,…
Photovoltaic solar energy consists of the direct transformation of solar radiation into electrical energy. This type of energy is often referred to directly as photovoltaics.
This transformation in electrical energy is achieved by taking advantage of the properties of semiconductor materials through photovoltaic cells. The base material for the manufacture of photovoltaic panels is usually silicon. When sunlight (photons) hits one of the faces of the solar cell, it generates an electric current. This generated electricity can be used as an energy source.
The generation of fuel through solar energy is a technique based on generating chemical reactions using solar radiation. These chemical processes allow the generation of energy that would otherwise come from a source of fossil fuel or nuclear energy.
A great advantage of the generation of solar fuels is that they can be transported and stored easily. However, adding a step in the generation of electric power (fuel generation) implies a reduction in efficiency: adding an additional step between the storage of energy and the production of electricity drastically decreases the…
Photovoltaic modules or solar panels are devices that are used to capture the energy of the sun's light. Photovoltaic solar panels contain a set of solar cells that convert light into electricity. It is called solar because the sun is one of the strongest energy sources for this type of use. Solar cells are sometimes called photovoltaic cells, and photovoltaics literally means "light-electricity". Solar cells have the photovoltaic effect to absorb the sun's energy and cause electrical current to flow between two charged layers in the opposite direction.
Currently, the costs associated…
Solar irradiation is the magnitude that measures the energy per unit area of incident solar radiation on a surface placed in a well-specified place and time range.
The solar irradiation in the terrestrial surface is, from the technical point of view, the addition in a determined interval of the solar radiance filtered by the interposition of the atmosphere.
The value of solar irradiation on the surface depends on the time of year, latitude, local climatology and times of day. Origin of solar irradiation
The origin of electromagnetic radiation from the Sun.…
A solar panel is a device to take advantage of solar energy. It can also be called a solar module.
Photovoltaic solar panels contain a set of solar cells that convert light into electricity. It is called solar because the sun is one of the strongest energy sources for this type of use. Solar cells are sometimes called photovoltaic cells, and photovoltaics literally means "light-electricity". Solar cells have the photovoltaic effect to absorb the sun's energy and cause electrical current to flow between two charged layers in the opposite direction.
The denomination of solar panel…
We refer to the photovoltaic effect in everything related to obtaining energy through the action of light.
The most used light source for photovoltaic installations is that coming from the Sun, that is, solar energy. Although there are small devices, such as calculators, that can work with artificial light. Photovoltaic solar energy
Solar photovoltaic energy is a methodology for obtaining electrical energy thanks to photoelectric cells. It is a renewable energy since its energy source, the Sun, is considered inexhaustible.
Photoelectric cells are the main component…
In the design of passive solar buildings, windows, walls and floors are made to collect, store and distribute solar energy in the form of heat in the winter and reject solar heat in the summer. This is called passive solar design because it does not involve the use of mechanical and electrical devices.
The key to designing a passive solar building is to make the most of the local climate by performing a precise site analysis. The elements to be considered include the placement and size of the window, and the type of glazing, thermal insulation, thermal mass and shading. Passive solar…
A photovoltaic cell is an electronic device that allows to transform the energy of light into electricity through the photovoltaic effect. It can also be called photocell or photoelectric cell.
Technically, what interests us about light is the photons. Photons are present in all kinds of light but the one that we find most interesting is that which comes from the Sun, solar radiation.
The photovoltaic cell, therefore, is an essential element for the development of photovoltaic solar energy. Features of photovoltaic cells
Compounds of a material having a photoelectric…
A solar furnace is an optical system to provide concentrated solar radiation. The concentrated energy of sunlight can be used for simple heating of a material, aging experiments of plastics or paints, endothermic chemical reactions or for charging experiments with mechanical or electrical components.
The solar furnace system is widely used in solar thermal power plants.
The principle of the solar furnace is also used to build cheap solar solar cookers, and for solar water pasteurisation. Solar furnace can be used to supply a Stirling engine, as well.
The difference between…
Within the history of solar energy, in one form or another, solar energy has always been present in the life of the planet being this imprescidible for the development of life. However, the way in which human civilization has exploited it invented new strategies and tools has undergone a long evolution.
The Sun is indispensable for the existence of life on the planet: it is responsible for the water cycle, photosynthesis, etc. Already the first civilizations realized this and, as civilizations have evolved, they have also evolved techniques to harness their energy. At the beginning they…
A solar concentrator is a concentration system of solar energy that is used to convert solar energy into thermal energy. Its operation is based on the exploitation of the reflection of the solar rays obtained through reflective surfaces (substantially of mirrors), in order to concentrate on a receiver of contained size. Similar to a magnifying glass focusing its light on a point, the concentrators reflect sunlight by means of an arrangement of mirrors aligned towards a lens capable of capturing that energy for its use.
In general, heat is converted into mechanical energy by means of…
The Kelvin is the temperature unit of the International System. The Kelvin is one of the seven basic units of temperature. Its symbol in the international system of units is K. The Kelvin scale is a thermodynamic (absolute) temperature scale where the absolute zero, the theoretical absence of energy, is zero (0 K). This unit is named after the British physicist, mathematician and engineer William Thomson (1824 - 1907), who was later named Lord Kelvin. Lord Kelvin wrote about the need for a "thermodynamic temperature scale".
To express the temperature difference or the interval, the use…
The Sun is a star around which the Earth turns.
It has an approximate diameter of 1,400,000 km and a mass of 1.99 × 1033 g.
The Sun revolves around itself. However, since it is constituted by a large mass of gases, the different regions do not rotate in solidarity, but they do so at different speeds, which depend on latitude.
The Sun, and with it the entire solar system, moves towards a point in the firmament located in the constellation of Hercules at a speed of about 19 km / s. This is because the Sun has a movement of translation around the galactic center, like…
An electric generator is a device designed to produce electricity from a different form of energy.
The different forms of energy, which are transformed into electricity, are usually mechanical energy, chemical energy, photovoltaic energy or directly thermal energy.
Depending on their characteristics, there are several types of electric generators. The analysis of these generators is not limited only to the generators used in photovoltaic solar energy, but we will make a brief review of all types of electric generators. Photovoltaic generators
The photovoltaic effect is the photoelectric effect characterized by the production of an electric current between two pieces of different material that are in contact and exposed to light or, in general, to electromagnetic radiation.
The photovoltaic effect consists of converting sunlight into electrical energy by means of photovoltaic cells. These cells are semiconductor devices made from pure silicon with the addition of impurities of certain chemical elements. Photovoltaic cells are capable of generating electricity in direct current, using solar radiation as a source.
Natural gas is a source of fossil energy, like coal or oil, it is constituted by a mixture of hydrocarbons, molecules formed by carbon and hydrogen atoms. Its calorific value varies greatly according to its composition, but the highest are between 8,500 and 10,200 kilocalories per cubic meter of natural gas.
Natural gas is a primary energy, or that can be obtained directly without transformation. The other primary energies are solar energy, coal and oil. It is the cleanest fossil energy in terms of waste and atmospheric emissions, and the most efficient fuel for obtaining electricity…
We have two definitions of electricity depending on whether ns refer to physical phenomena on a macroscopic scale or on a microscopic scale.
With the term electricity we refer generically to all physical phenomena in a macroscopic scale that involves one of the fundamental interactions, the electromagnetic force, with particular reference to electrostatics. At the microscopic level, these phenomena are due to the interaction between charged particles on a molecular scale: the protons in the nucleus of atoms or ionized molecules and the electrons. The typical macroscopic effects of such…
The constant price increases in electricity rates are reflected in the monthly bills of our home and therefore, more and more people are looking for alternatives to electricity and natural gas in order to save a few euros at the end of the month . One of these alternatives that has been implemented for a few years in Spain is self-consumption from solar panels .
With the installation of solar panels and the use of solar radiation, it is possible to generate electricity and / or heat in the home in a clean and renewable…
For the conversion of fossil energy into electrical energy, the technology of a thermal power plant is often used. At the moment in which a thermal power station is fossil fuels fossilized from a source of non-renewable energy generation.
A thermal power plant (or thermoelectric plant) is a plant that generates electricity by transforming heat. Historically heat energy is converted into electricity by transferring heat to a working fluid and then transforming the energy of this fluid into mechanical energy. Finally, mechanical energy is transformed into electricity. The…