Solar Power Plant
The sun emits a lot of energy. The Earth recieves 174 petawatts of energy of this emission into its upper atmosphere. 30 percent of this energy is reflected back into space, the rest is absorbed by the surface, the clouds and the oceans. Sunlight consists of multiple different spectrums, each having a different wavelength. (from the IR range, through the visible light to the UV range).
The Earth provides a lot of resources of energy for us to use. It has two main types. Renewable and non-renewable energy sources. Renewable sources are the water, sunlight and wind. The construction which exploits the energy coming from the sun is the Solar power plant. The most common plants are the photovoltic plants, which turn the sun’s energy into electric current. It doesn’t work with the help of the solar cells.
The sunbeams’ electromagnetic emission reach the surface of the solar cell, where it is converted into electric current. Another very common procedure is to use solar cells as collectors. These collectors focus their energy to boil water and produce steam which can operate certain generators that produce electric current as well. The biggest photoelectric solar power plant to date on Earth is the 200 MW Golmund plant located in China.
Pros of using solar power plants:
- Only a one-time investment is required. After that, the energy is produced whenever there is sufficient sunlight, thus making the system self-sustaining.
- Reduces the dependency on non-renewable resources and aids the growth and development of the economy.
- Photoelectric plants are able to produce energy even in the shades, so there is no need for full and completely direct sunshine.
- With the rapid development and advancement of technology and the increase in production capacities, the cost of the solar cells decreased over the years.
- Using solar power reduces air pollution as there is no leftover flue.
Cons of using solar power plants:
- It is hard to predict the intensity and the duration of the sunshine coming to the solar plant
- The surface receives the most energy in the summer, which means that the energy flow is not constant and is fairly unreliable.
- Constructing a power plant is a serious investment, which means that several calculations are required to determine how long it takes for the plant to produce profit. The environmental aspects must be taken into consideration when building the plant as well.