Solar energy and solar storage batteries – A quick guide
The 21st century is the age where nations worldwide are joining hands in a desperate attempt to save and revive the dying environment. Renewable sources of energy are named so because they are available in abundance in nature and mankind is making the best efforts to manage and utilize these resources for achieving a sustainable future. This is perhaps the primary reason why the energy obtained from these sources is known as Sustainable energy or simply Renewable energy.
The world today is recognizing the need and importance of sustainable energy or green energy technologies to possibly mitigate the damage that has already been caused to the environment and its resources due to uncontrolled anthropogenic activities. The most important forms of renewable energy in today’s world are
- Solar energy
- Wind energy
- Geothermal energy
Let’s talk about Solar energy!
Solar energy is radiant light and heat from the Sun that is harnessed using a range of ever-evolving technologies such as solar heating, photovoltaics, solar thermal energy, solar architecture, molten salt power plants, and artificial photosynthesis.
Solar energy in numbers
Various scientific, environmental and geological studies reveal that:
- The Earth receives approximately 174 petawatts (PW) of incoming solar radiation (insolation) at the upper atmosphere.
- Approximately 30% of this is reflected back to space while the rest is absorbed by clouds, oceans and land masses.
- Solar radiation is absorbed by the Earth’s land surface, oceans, which cover about 71% of the globe and atmosphere.
- The total solar energy absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and land masses is approximately 3,850,000 exajoules (EJ) per year.
- In 2002, this was more energy in one hour than the world used in one year. Photosynthesis captures approximately 3,000 EJ per year in biomass.
Rising demand for solar energy
Solar panels, Solar cells, and solar storage batteries are being used worldwide to generate solar energy to suffice the electricity and power requirements on individual, community and national levels. It is considered to be one of the two cleanest and most eco-friendly modes of power generation today, along with wind energy. Simply because the raw material (Sunlight) is available in abundance and there are absolutely no wastes generated in the process of producing solar power.
Solar storage batteries and its advantages
Solar energy technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on how they capture and distribute solar energy or convert it into solar power. Active solar techniques include the use of concentrated solar power, photovoltaic systems, and Solar storage batteries.
Battery storage is the next big thing in renewable energy and advancements in solar technology have made it more affordable, and advancements in battery technologies are giving customers greater energy independence.
Solar power technology has expanded further from just the conventional use of solar panels to solar storage batteries and inverters that can let homeowners avoid peak, high-cost energy costs. These solar batteries are charged with energy from solar panels installed on the terrace or a solar field.
Power generated from solar energy systems has numerous advantages over electricity generated from conventional sources of energy like coal and other fossil fuels.
- Does not create toxic air pollution
- Does not harm human health
- Does not poison or pollute land and water
- Does not contribute to climate change
Types of solar storage batteries
Depending on the energy consumption requirements and usage capacities, there are 5 major types of solar storage batteries commonly in use today:
- Flooded Lead-Acid
- Gelled Electrolyte Sealed Lead-Acid
- Sealed Absorbed Glass Mat Lead-Acid (AGM)
How do solar storage batteries work?
Any basic solar energy system generates electricity whenever the sun is shining, often making more than a home needs during peak seasons. That excess energy is sent to the grid, and the solar storage battery takes this excess electricity and storing it. The prime advantage here is that the homeowner usually receives a credit from their utility that can offset the electricity used at night
This stored solar energy can be used to complement power from the grid at night or to power essential appliances during a power outage. The bigger the battery, the more power can be stored. After the battery is charged any excess or unused power flows back to the utility.
- The Sun
The sun provides a free and abundant source of energy for almost 12 hours of the day.
- Solar Panels
Photovoltaic Solar Cells inside solar panels installed on rooftops, terraces, and open fields convert the suns solar energy into direct current (DC) electricity.
This direct current (DC) is converted into alternating current (AC) by the inverters which we use in our homes and businesses.
- Power Sharing
The excess or unused power is then sent back into the grid, literally turning the meter backward.
PLEASE KEEP IN MIND!
A home solar storage battery can come in really handy during sudden power outages, especially during bad weather. It is a clean, quiet alternative to a noisy generator. But it is also important to keep in mind that a home battery is designed to keep only essential appliances up and running. Which implies that not every light or piece of electrical equipment used in the house.