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Chapter: Mechanical and Electrical - Power Plant Engineering - Power From Renewable Energy

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Advantages, disadvantages and application of Solar Energy

Sun is essentially an infinite source of energy. Therefore solar energy is a very large inexhaustible and renewable source of energy and is freely available all over the world.

Advantages, disadvantages and application of Solar Energy

 

Advantages

 

1.     Sun is essentially an infinite source of energy. Therefore solar energy is a very large inexhaustible and renewable source of energy and is freely available all over the world.

 

2.     It is environmentally very clean and is hence pollution-free.

 

3.     It is a dependable energy source without new requirements of a highly technical and specialized nature for its wide spread utilization.

 

4.     It is the best alternative for the rapid depletion of fossil fuels.

 

 

Disadvantages

 

 

1.     It is available in a dilute and is at low potential. The intensity of solar energy on a sunny day in India is about 1.1 kW/square meter area. Hence very large collecting areas are required.

2.     Also the dilute and diffused nature of the solar energy needs large land area for the power plant for instance, about 30 square kilometers area is required for a solar power station to replace a nuclear plant on a 1 square kilometer site. Hence capital cost is more for the solar plant.

3.  Solar energy is not available at night or during cloudy or rainy days.

 

Applications of Solar Energy:

 

Applications of solar energy enjoying most success today are:

1.     Solar engines for pumping.

2.     Solar water heaters.

3.     Solar cookers.

4.     Solar driers.

5.     Solar furnaces.

6.     Photo-voltaic conversion (solar cells)

7.     Solar power generation.

 

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