Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Storage of solar energy

Solar energy is a renewable energy source that can be obtained from the sun. Sufficient sunlight must be ensured so that solar energy can be harnessed in a proper and efficient manner. The renewable solar energy can be put to a number of uses. When there is insufficient sunlight or no sunlight at all, solar energy cannot be used as an alternative energy resource. To utilize solar energy effectively it must be available at all times. But during night or on cloudy days, renewable solar energy is not available and so solar energy needs to be stored to meet the energy requirements at any given time. Solar energy can be stored in alternative power stores.

There are several methods available for storing the renewable solar energy. Solar energy can be stored in the form of heat in thermal mass systems. The heat energy can then be used for various domestic purposes. Materials like paraffin wax and Glauber’s salt can also be used to store solar renewable energy at domestically compatible temperatures.

At high temperatures, solar energy can be stored in molten salts. Once solar energy is stored in molten salts, it can be used in conventional heating systems for heating purposes.

When renewable solar energy generates excess electricity, this excess gets stored in off grid solar photovoltaic systems. Solar energy is also stored in hydro electric stores and then is used to generate electricity when there is a high demand of electricity.

Storing solar energy is important for future use but the technology used for this purpose is expensive.

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