Solar energy is energy created by the heat and light of the sun. Solar power is produced when this energy is converted into electricity or used to heat air, water, or other substances.
Australia has the highest average solar radiation per square metre of any continent in the world. Large-scale solar electricity is rapidly expanding in Australia. More than two million Australian households currently have a solar system on their rooftop.
This technology converts sunlight directly into electricity using photovoltaic (PV) cells. The solar PV cells are combined in panels. They can be put on rooftops, integrated into building designs and vehicles, or installed by the thousands across fields to create large-scale solar power plants.
Concentrating solar PV uses fields of sun-tracking mirrors called heliostats to concentrate sunlight onto highly efficient PV cells located inside a receiver at the top of a mast or tower.
This technology converts sunlight into thermal energy (or heat), which in the past has been used mainly for space heating or to heat water (such as in a solar hot water system).
This heat energy can be used to drive a refrigeration cycle to provide solar-based cooling, or to make steam that can be used to generate electricity using a steam turbine. Solar thermal energy can also be used in some industrial processes that currently use gas to produce heat.
Concentrating solar thermal technology harvests the sun’s heat to produce efficient, large-scale power generation. It uses a field of mirrors to reflect sunlight onto a thermal receiver, which transfers the heat to a thermal energy storage system. Energy can then be released from storage as required, day and night.
Emerging solar energy technologies
Innovations and developments in solar energy technology and enhanced fuels will benefit everyone by making affordable and reliable energy more accessible to more businesses and households.
Combined with storage or backup
Of course the sun is not visable 24/7. Periods of low light degrade the effectiveness of solar energy generation.
Storage solutions like lithium batteries is a common trend. For example the LG Energy Storage System (ESS) stores electric energy and utilize them for later consumption. It is purposed to improve energy efficiency, by enhancing the quality of renewable energy that results stabilization of power supply system. LG Chem provides most optimal energy solution for the users using our state-of-the-art energy storage system with a long lifespan and a top-notch quality.
But there are many solutions, like the smarter storage system powered by the new Enphase AC battery. A high-performance energy storage solution brings you more intelligence and better value than anything else, with the industry’s lowest cost of entry and best lifetime value. It pairs seamlessly with Enphase microinverters and other solar technologies to help you make the most of your energy.