Solar power is the conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly using concentrated solar power. Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. Photovoltaic cells convert light into an electric current using the photovoltaic effect.
The terms related to Solar technology have been listed below:
• Solar vehicle: It is an electric vehicle powered completely or significantly by direct solar energy. Usually, photovoltaic (PV) cells contained in solar panels convert the sun’s energy directly into electric energy.
• Solar lamp: It is also known as solar light or solar lantern, is a lighting system composed of an LED lamp, solar panels, battery, charge controller and there may also be an inverter. The lamp operates on electricity from batteries, charged through the use of solar photovoltaic panel.
• Solar cooker: It is a device which uses the energy of direct sunlight to heat, cook or pasteurise drink. Many solar cookers currently in use are relatively inexpensive, low-tech devices, although some are as powerful or as expensive as traditional stoves, and advanced, large-scale solar cookers can cook for hundreds of people.
• Solar water heating (SWH): It is the conversion of sunlight into heat for water heating using a solar thermal collector. SWHs are widely used for residential and some industrial applications.
• Solar panel/ Solar cells: It refers to a panel designed to absorb the sun’s rays as a source of energy for generating electricity or heating.
• Solar Street light: These lights provide a convenient and cost-effective way to light streets at night without the need of AC electrical grids for pedestrians and drivers. They may have individual panels for each lamp of a system, or may have a large central solar panel and battery bank to power multiple lamps.
• Solar cars: Solar cars depend on PV cells to convert sunlight into electricity to drive electric motors. Unlike solar thermal energy which converts solar energy to heat, PV cells directly convert sunlight into electricity.
• Solar buses: Solar buses are propulsed by solar energy, all or part of which is collected from stationary solar panel installations.
• Solar ships can refer to solar powered airships or hybrid airships.
• Solar powered spacecraft: Solar energy is often used to supply power for satellites and spacecraft operating in the inner solar system since it can supply energy for a long time without excess fuel mass.
• Solar propelled spacecraft: A few spacecraft operating within the orbit of Mars have used solar power as an energy source for their propulsion system.
• Solar thermal collector: It collects heat by absorbing sunlight. A collector is a device for capturing solar radiation.