In this era of unsettling times where our irresponsible usage of fossil fuel has led to the global warming and alarming degree of carbon dioxide emissions, we must work relentlessly to promote alternative energy. They are environment-friendly, derived from non-traditional sources like wind, solar power, hydroelectric power and likes which are not necessarily be renewable.
Solar energy is an eco-friendly source of alternative energy, that ensures we can use electricity and run our appliances in daily lives without depending on hazardous energy sources and yet get the maximum benefit.
Electricity has become an inseparable part of our daily lives. Solar lights are easy to install and does not incur a maintenance cost. Solar lights use solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity. The solar panel consists of batteries that store the electricity thus generated to be used at night. Usually nickel cadmium, sealed lead acid are used as solar panel batteries. However, the geographical location and seasonal factor have its influence on the intensity of glare of the light. Night time run is dependent on specific sunlight conditions. With an advent of technology, more powerful batteries are installed in solar panel to ensure a longer run time at night and reduce substantially the seasonal influence on the brightness of the light. Clarity of night sky, bird droppings on the panel impacts the operating times of solar light and reduces the life of the batteries. Conversion of photovoltaic energy is limited due to physical condition limitations and only 23% of the sunlight is absorbed for further use. Hence more care is provided to manufacture the batteries and while installing solar light, additional information on the age and replace the ability of batteries clause must be considered.
Solar Cooking is often associated with slow cooking as the cooking time for solar box cooker are twice the time taken in conventional cooking on gas tops. However, the eco-friendly process of cooking comes with its own advantages. Less water is required while cooking which retains the flavor and nutrients and the cooking do not need occasional stirring which helps the cook leave the process unattended while he/she can finish off other chores. Solar cookers can be bought from a manufacturer or built up on your own. The shapes and design of the cooker have its unique advantages and gaps.
The sun rays are converted to heat energy by the dark, thin shallow metal pots with tight fitting lids that allow the container to retain the heat and pass it on to the food container inside. The panel cookers are a set of clear, heat-resistant large inverted glass bowl that lets the heat pass through it directly to the food container. Parabolic solar cookers contain a bowl-shaped reflector to focus light directly to the cooking pot. To ensure maximum efficiency, the solar cooker is directed towards the sun thus facilitating maximum sun rays to fall on the solar cooker. A clear sunny day is ideal however cooking can be accomplished even on a day with high and thin clouds though it might take longer than usual.
These are portable devices to recharge batteries or supply electricity to devices. Most of these devices are run by solar energy while few others like KinesisK3 and GenNex Solar Cell2 operate on both solar energies as well as electric energy. Solar chargers have the ability to charge up to 48V and hundreds of ampere hours. A series of solar cells are installed on rooftops of homes, offices to store the solar energy which is used during night time or in addition to mains supply chargers to save energy during the daytime. Solar chargers can be used to charge up mobile phones, iPods, cell phones, automobile, flashlight, and likes.
A voltage regulator is installed in solar charger devices as they are primarily dependent on the intensity of light and ensure that the correct degree of sun rays are converted and it does not damage the instrument which is getting charged. The solar charger market is flooded with companies manufacturing and distributing low-efficiency solar chargers which do not really serve the consumers hence additional information and care need to be taken while going for same. Solar chargers can be rollable and flexible that is manufactured using thin film PV technology. Foldable solar chargers are working on their price and distribution to make it affordable by common public. With increased use, we can substantially cut down on our conventional energy resources and eventually on carbon footprints.
A solar vehicle or more specifically a bike is one which is driven around by solar energy. Photovoltaic cells in solar panels convert solar energy to electric energy and it propels the bike to move forward. Solar bikes are not being used for commercial purposes. It’s required as demonstration vehicles, engineering exercises and sponsored by govt.agencies.
Solar bike manufacturing requires robust engineering knowledge and meticulous planning. The panel needs to be positioned in such a way that sun’s rays can fall on it at 90-degree angle. Since the sun is not stationary and keeps changing position, throughout the day one needs to adjust the solar panel on the cycle to ensure it receives the maximum amount of sunlight. On a cloudy day or late in the evening with decreasing intensity of sunlight, the energy output is reduced to a substantial amount which eventually affects the speed of the bike. Given such physical and practical constraint, the solar bike has not hit the commercial market but restrained itself in academic and research market. The bike is operated either by manual pedaling or solar driven mechanism.
it is a leading cloth pack with as minimum as two straps going over shoulders and filled with tiny solar batteries and cells are termed as solar backpacks. The solar panel present on the bag converts solar energy to electric energy and keeps it stored by using the batteries to recharge appliances like mobile devices and Mp3 players. The main components of a solar backpack are charge controllers, plugs, and batteries.It can supply power which can easily extend to 120-watt hours all the day long. It is fully equipped to recharge appliances up to 300W. It comes to the aid during disaster relief, and field research.
Solar backpacks being lightweight are easier to carry and are an eco-friendly resource for alternative energy. Extensive applicability of solar backpacks would enable a reduction in the electricity bills by about 10-20%. The solar panel fitted with these bags is light and portable in line with the bag design. A solar backpack can power the laptop for about 3 hrs. best apart is that it also has got the emergency light that can last for 3 hours. and hence its mainly used for humanitarian purposes and medical equipment.