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Solar Panel

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Solar Panel

What Is Solar Energy?

Solar energy is energy from the sun. This energy drives the climate and weather and supports virtually all life on Earth. Heat and light from the sun, along with solar-based resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass, account for most of the available flow of renewable energy.

Solar Panel

Solar energy technologies harness the sun’s energy for practical ends. These technologies date from the time of the early Greeks, Native Americans and Chinese, who warmed their buildings by orienting them toward the sun. Modern solar technologies provide heating, lighting, electricity and even flight.

Solar power is used synonymously with solar energy or more specifically to refer to the conversion of sunlight into electricity. This can be done either through the photovoltaic effect or by heating a transfer fluid to produce steam to run a generator.
Solar photovoltaics provide 0.04% of the world’s energy usage.

How Solar Energy Is Used By the Earth ?

Solar energy technologies harness the sun’s energy for practical ends. These technologies date from the time of the early Greeks, Native Americans and Chinese, who warmed their buildings by orienting them toward the sun. Modern solar technologies provide heating, lighting, electricity and even flight.

solar energyEarth receives 174 petawatts of incoming solar radiation (insolation) at the upper atmosphere at any given time. When it meets the atmosphere, 6 percent of the insolation is reflected and 16 percent is absorbed.
Average atmospheric conditions (clouds, dust, pollutants) further reduce insolation traveling through the atmosphere by 20 percent due to reflection and 3 percent via absorption. These atmospheric conditions not only reduce the quantity of energy reaching the earth’s surface, but also diffuse approximately 20 percent of the incoming light and filter portions of its spectrum.

After passing through the atmosphere, approximately half the insolation is in the visible electromagnetic spectrum with the other half mostly in the infrared spectrum (a small part is ultraviolet radiation).
The absorption of solar energy by atmospheric convection (sensible heat transport) and evaporation and condensation of water vapor (latent heat transport) affects the winds and the water cycle. Upon reaching the surface, sunlight is absorbed by the oceans, land masses and plants.

The energy captured in the oceans drives the thermohaline cycle. As such, solar energy is ultimately responsible for temperature-driven ocean currents such as the thermohaline cycle and wind-driven currents such as the Gulf Stream.
The energy absorbed by the earth, in conjunction with that recycled by the Greenhouse effect, warms the surface to an average temperature of approximately 14 °C.
The small portion of solar energy captured by plants and other phototrophs is converted to chemical energy via photosynthesis. All the food we eat, wood we build with, and fossil fuels we use are products of photosynthesis.

The flows and stores of solar energy in the environment are vast in comparison to human energy needs. The total solar energy available to the earth is
approximately 3850 zettajoules (ZJ) per year.
* Oceans absorb approximately 285 ZJ of solar energy per year.
* Winds can theoretically supply 6 ZJ of energy per year.
* Biomass captures approximately 1.8 ZJ of solar energy per year.
* Worldwide energy consumption was 0.471 ZJ in 2004.

photovoltaic panels

The upper map shows how solar radiation at the top of the earth’s atmosphere varies with latitude, while the lower map shows annual average ground-level insolation.
For example, in North America, the average insolation at ground level over an entire year (including nights and periods of cloudy weather) lies between 125 and 375 W/m² (3 to 9 kWh/m²/day).
At present, photovoltaic panels typically convert about 15 percent of incident sunlight into electricity;
therefore, a solar panel in the contiguous United States, on average, delivers 19 to 56 W/m² or 0.45 - 1.35 kWh/m²/day.
As time goes by,Using solar panels is a great way to generate clean and renewable electricity to power remote appliances.However, they are also being used to provide solar power to entire homes and commercial buildings, such as Google's headquarters in California.
Solar panels are devices that convert light from the sun, which is composed of particles of energy called "photons", into electricity that can be used to power elecrical loads.According to the scientists, there are three types of solar panels: mono-crystal, multi- or poly-crystalline, and amorphous silicon.Each of these solar panel types is estimated to last at least twenty-five years.

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