Solar energy is
our earth's primary source of renewable energy. It is a form of
energy radiated by the sun, including light, radio waves, and X
rays, although the term usually refers to the visible light of the
sun. As oil prices have gone up and other energy sources remain
limited, nations are increasingly searching for safe, reliable long-term
sources of power. In this scenario solar energy proves to be an
abundant energy source which can be put to use. Electricity generation
from solar energy at present is no more a new concept to the world.
Solar electricity being clean (pollution free), silent, limitless
and free will play a great role in the times to come in the present
energy driven civilization. Solar energy is useful in many ways,
some are as listed :
POWER GENERATION FROM SOLAR
electricity using photovoltaic solar cells.
• Generate electricity using concentrated solar power.
• Generate electricity by heating trapped air which
rotates turbines in a Solar updraft tower.
• Generate hydrogen using photoelectrochemical cells.
• Heat and cool air through use of solar chimneys.
• Heat buildings, directly, through passive solar
• Heat foodstuffs, through solar ovens.
• Heat water or air for domestic hot water and space
heating needs using solar-thermal panels.
• Solar air conditioning
Every second 657 million tons of hydrogen are converted to 653
million tons of helium in our sun. The missing 4 million tons
are converted to light and heat energy via Einstein’s E=MC2
equation and radiated into space. At an average distance of 93
million miles from the sun, the earth collects approximately 4
lbs. of total energy, which supports life on earth as we know
it. For every kWh of electricity generated by solar energy, the
following emissions are avoided since that kWh need not be generated
from a fossil fuel power plant. In one year, the approximate avoided
emissions in lbs/year are:
SOLAR POWERPLANT SIZE
SOLAR POWER PLANT TYPES:
There are two ways to use solar energy to generate electricity;
• Photovoltaic type: Photovoltaic (PV) systems converts
sunlight directly into electricity
• Thermal type: Solar thermal plants use heat to generate
SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC POWER PLANT:
The sun illuminates the solar cells in the PV Array, which converts
light energy into electricity. The electricity goes into an inverter
and into the power lines to your home.
Modes of generation-
• Conventional Silicon based
- Monocrystalline technology
- Polycrystalline technology
- Thin film technology
• Concentrating PV (CPV): latest emerging
SOLAR THERMAL POWER PLANT:
The main principle involved is to focus sunlight on a receiver,
where the circulating fluid gets heated & thereby drives a
steam engine to generate electricity.
Modes of Generation:
• Concentrating Type ( CSP)
> Line Focusing systems
- Parabolic Trough Systems
- Fresnel Trough Collector Systems
> Point Focusing systems
- Dish Stirling Systems / Concentrating Dish
- Solar Tower Plants using central Receiver System
• Non- concentrating Type
> Solar Updraft Tower Power Plants – Solar Chimney
> Solar Pond Power Plants
CURRENT SCENARIO IN MAHARASHTRA
Among the renewable sources of energy, solar energy has a huge
potential for power generation in Maharashtra. There are 250-300
days of clear sun with an available average radiation of 4 to
6 kWh/sq.metre over a day. There is a capacity to generate 1.5
million units/MW/year through solar photovoltaic systems &
up to 2.5 million units/MW/ year through solar thermal systems.
Maharashtra is already in process to boost this enormous source
and interested solar project developers can submit their proposals
list of grid connected solar power projects commissioned in Maharashtra