Is Solar Energy Potential or Kinetic

Cosmic rays are collected and heat objects to create solar thermal energy. Thermal energy is a type of kinetic energy. Therefore solar energy is kinetic because of the vibrations of atoms. Solar power continues to grow in popularity, and many consumers continue to benefit from using solar energy. The sun is like a gigantic nuclear reactor, and in its core, nuclear fusion reactions produce massive amounts of energy that radiate outward from the Sun’s surface and into space in the form of light and heat. Light energy, also called radiant energy, is a type of kinetic energy that travels in waves. However, if speaking in terms of the energy within the sun itself, Nuclear energy can be either kinetic or potential. A radioactive nuclide will have potential energy before radioactive decay occurs. Radioactive decay emits the kinetic energy of a particle or a photon after the process occurs. Solar energy is derived from the rays of the Sun; it is renewable. The energy that we get from the Sun (solar) can be converted into electricity through photo-voltaic panels.

Is Solar Energy Potential or Kinetic explained form and type of energy

Types of solar power technologies have different and varying degrees of success. Reflective thermal panels concentrate the Sun’s rays to heat an object, and they need direct sunlight to accomplish this. Photovoltaic solar panels require little direct sunlight to function correctly, as they can convert reflected sunlight off of surfaces, such as clouds. Due to the location of the Earth as it relates to the Sun, an average flux of 1358 solar energy watts fills every square meter of space above the Earth. At the surface, this solar flux is reduced to roughly 990 watts per square meter. Daily, we receive around 18,000 terawatts of power, although global energy demand is only nine terawatts.

That said, this flux of energy is not quite as useful as it seems at first glance. As you know, oceans cover 3/4 of the surface of the planet; and much of this solar flux falls on the oceans. Even using the most efficient solar power collectors available, they are only 28.5% efficient in producing DC electrical power. This means that a space-based solar collector can obtain only 380 watts of power, and this same type of system and configuration on the surface can only harvest up to 280 watts of power. A new technology referred to as “Quantum Dot” promises higher efficiency by making a single-crystal semiconductor that contains copper, indium, and selenium. One day, this new technology may grant us an efficiency of up to 63.5%. But for now, we have to rely on the technology we have, and ground-based solar panels can only collect solar energy during the day. They have other factors working against them, such as the angle of the sun and cloud cover.

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“Ivanpah Solar Power Facility 6” by Justin Elliott is licensed under CC BY 2.0  

Roughly 40 years ago, extensive research looked into designs and networks of space-based solar panel satellites. They would collect solar energy from space and sent it via satellite to receivers on the surface of the planet. From there, it would then supposedly feed the power grid. Alternatively, it could electrolyze seawater that would be refined so it could be used to power cars. Today, DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) continues to pursue research into utilizing the basic ideas and principles of this. 

During more electricity-intensive peak seasons, the average American household will use little more than 10 kilowatts. If possible, to use the Quantum-Dot to convert the solar flux arriving at Earth’s surface with 63% efficiency, American homes could receive enough solar energy in conjuncture with a solar array not larger than 25 square meters. This may one day be possible using the already built satellites currently up in space; only time will tell. 

Despite proposals to utilize the open space of the southwestern United States deserts by laying down mass solar panel arrays, these have been declined due to the potential environmental impact on the fragile desert ecosystem. For now, solar power remains a supplemental source of energy until more research and development can go into utilizing solar as the primary source of power for our civilization. 

The Two Types of Solar Energy 

Two types of solar energy can be produced using two different systems. The first one being photovoltaic technology, which directly converts sunlight into electricity. Solar thermal technology is the second utilized that harnesses the heat from the Sun. At the same time, the method varies; these methods both tap into the power provided by the Sun. Like water and air, the Sun is a gift from mother nature that sustains the Earth, giving heat and light. Solar energy is a clean and renewable energy source that readily available for use. Solar could provide enough power to meet the world’s needs annually every hour. The problem is trying to figure out a way to collect it and convert it into electricity. 

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Two Types of Installation 

-Individual systems are sometimes referred to as solar systems used to power homes or small communities. PV panels can work in conjuncture with solar thermal collectors to power and residential heat areas. Photovoltaic power plants exist, which generate solar-powered electricity at a much larger scale. The energy produced from these plants covers hundreds of acres. Because of its flexibility, solar is one of the most attractive forms of renewable energy. It can be used on a large scale in industrial power zones and small enough to be used in residential areas. 

Is Solar Energy Potential or Kinetic explained form and type of energy

Photovoltaic Solar Power (Kinetic, Potential, Chemical?)

When referring to photovoltaic solar power, it relates to turning energy from the Sun into electricity. Sometimes referred to as the photovoltaic effect, this process was discovered by French physicist Edmond Becquerel back in 1839 but was not utilized later in 1954. The principle is relatively simple; an electric current will occur when electrons are displaced. For this to happen, photons, or light particles, excite the outermost electrons of the atoms of some semiconductor elements. When used, the light that hits a photovoltaic cell is converted into electricity by a semiconductor. 

A photovoltaic panel comprises several cells producing direct current converted into alternating current by an inverter. This inverting process must be complete because it must be AC to use electricity with the current power grids. When solar energy is produced, it first starts as DC energy. The beforementioned panels can either be used in smalls systems (such as residential rooftops) or on a larger scale, such as a solar energy power plant. 

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Low-Temperature Solar Thermal Power

This type of technology produces heat directly from the rays of the Sun. The installations operate at temperatures below 100 degrees Celcius and cater to residential and commercial applications. For instance, hot water and heating. There are a variety of industrial uses, as well. And Solar Thermal Power accounts for the most extensive use of solar energy worldwide. These collectors are utilized to absorb heat from the Sun and transfer that heat to a fluid. This intern transports the heat to areas that require heat. 

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The Sun is absorbed more on dark materials; most panels using this method are made up of dark surfaces to incorporate most of the Sun’s heat. A layer of insulation is placed on these panels with a sheet of glass that creates a greenhouse effect. There are also solar thermal air collectors, which are used for drying crops. Additionally, some systems are unglazed using rubber or plastic, which are generally used for heating swimming pools. Vacuum tube collectors are best suited to high-temperature industrial uses. Cleaning slaughterhouses or pasteurizing canned goods are examples. 

Concentrated Solar Power

Another type of thermal solar power. This type concentrates the Sun’s warmth using collectors to heat a transfer fluid made up of gas, oil, or molten salt. This medium is heated to a high temperature. Think of it as a network of water that produces steam and drives mechanical energy, in this way, generating electricity. 


Is Solar Energy Potential or Kinetic