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An Introduction To Solar Energy Essay

1640 words - 7 pages

Web Crawling Essay:Solar Energy Technology Advantages and DisadvantagesRyan HaysBAAS 409 - Global Technology and SocietyOil prices fluctuate regularly and energy will be a scarce resource has more people populate the planet. In 2008, the price per barrel of oil hit an all-time high above $140 a barrel and fuel prices increased accordingly. Energy costs are increasing annually as well and there are blackouts regularly throughout the U.S. that is due to too much power consumption. According to a study done by the University of Minnesota, blackouts effecting at least 50,000 customers simultaneously, increased 124% over a recent 10-year period. The reported black outs across the U.S., went from 41 blackouts up to 91 blackouts annually over that period. Many alternatives to fossil fuels are being tested currently; such as wind and nuclear energy, but the use of the sun to help provide power through solar energy seems to be the most viable option. The suns powerful rays seem to be the cleanest, most economical, and available alternative available today. This paper will discuss further the pros and cons of using solar energy versus using another source of alternative energy to fossil fuels.The suns radiation in relation to providing energy is unlimited, in the daytime of course. This source of energy through solar panels are used to provide electricity for homes, automobiles, businesses; it is readily available, cheap, and does not pollute the atmosphere or cause global warming as fossil fuels possibly do. Because carbons are not emitted into the atmosphere, solar energy is one of the cleanest ways to replace the current energy sources that include oil, gas, and especially coal, which emits tremendous amounts of carbons into the atmosphere as the coal is burned off and used to create energy. Because fossil fuels are made of carbon and oxygen, this burns off and creates carbon and dioxide in the air. The only way to absorb this extra carbon dioxide from the air is by planting more trees and plants, which take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. There is no releasing of chemicals into the atmosphere with solar technology. Panels absorb the solar radiation and convert that energy into electricity by using solar cells. Solar panels are comprised of several individual solar cells. These solar cells function similarly to large semiconductors and utilize a large-area p-n junction diode. When the solar cells are exposed to sunlight, the p-n junction diodes convert the energy from sunlight into usable electrical energy. The energy generated from photons striking the surface of the solar panel allows electrons to be knocked out of their orbits and released, and electric fields in the solar cells pull these free electrons in a directional current, from which metal contacts in the solar cell can generate electricity. The more solar cells in a solar panel and the higher the quality of the solar cells, the total electrical output the solar panel can produce. The...

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