Solar Power Generation refers to the production of electric power by harnessing solar energy. The amount of sunlight that strikes the earth’s surface in 90 minutes is enough to handle the entire world’s energy consumption for a full year. There are two primary methods by which Solar power can be utilized. Solar technologies that convert sunlight into electrical energy include photovoltaic (PV) panels or mirrors that concentrate solar radiation.
Solar Power Generation using PV
Solar photovoltaics or PVs. Sunlight comprises tiny particles called photons. When the sun shines onto a solar panel, the energy from the sunlight is absorbed by the PV cells in the panel.
This energy absorbed creates electrical charges that move as a response to an internal electric field in the cell, causing electricity to flow. The below video by US department of energy briefs Solar power generation from PVs.
Solar Power Generation using CSPs
Apart from PVs, solar power can be harnessed using Concentrating solar-thermal power or CSPs. CSP systems use mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto receivers that collect solar energy and convert it to heat. This heat can later be used to produce electricity or can be stored for later use.
The below video briefly explains the working of CSPs:
Also learn: Wind Power Generation