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Useful Knowledge: Two Ways of Solar Electric Power Generation

There are two ways of solar electric power generation. One is a conversion method among light energy, thermal energy and electric energy, the other one is a direct conversion method between light energy and electric energy.


1. The conversion method of solar electric power generation of light energy-thermal energy-kinetic energy-electric energy


Electric power generation through the use of thermal energy generated by solar radiation generally involves a solar collector that converts the absorbed thermal energy into steam and then drives a steam turbine to generate electricity. The former process is to convert thermal energy into kinetic energy and then into electrical energy, and then the final conversion process. Like ordinary thermal power generation, the disadvantage of thermal power generation is its low efficiency and high cost. It is estimated that its investment is at least 5-10 times more expensive than that of ordinary thermal power stations.


2. The conversion method of solar electric power generation of light energy-electrical energy 


This method uses the photoelectric effect to directly convert solar radiation energy into electrical energy. The basic device for converting light energy to electrical energy is the solar battery. It is a device that directly converts solar energy into electrical energy due to the photovoltaic effect. Also, it is a semiconductor photodiode. When the sun shines on it, the photodiode will convert light energy into electrical energy to generate electric current.


When many batteries are connected in series or in parallel, they will become a square array of solar batteries with large output power. The solar battery is a promising new power source with advantages of longevity, cleanliness and flexibility. The solar battery has a long life, it can be invested once and then used for a long time as long as the sun exists. Compared with thermal electric power generation, solar electric power generation does not cause environmental pollution.

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