Cause/Effect: Solar Energy Solar radiation is an energy resource many times larger than mankind’s energy needs. Mankind has been able to capture/harness this energy resource, but only on a limited scale. Mankind has found that the use of the sun was quite useful. They used it to grow and dry crops, dry clothing, produce heat, and for light. The sun is a sphere, on the inside of the sun there is a continuous process of fusion in which hydrogen nuclei combine to from helium nuclei. There is less helium than that of hydrogen, which allows the sun to create energy.
The energy is then radiated out of the surface of the sun, in which only a small portion is intercepted by plant earth. Just outside of the earth’s atmosphere, approximately 93 million miles from the sun, has the intensity of radiation of about 1. 36 kilowatts per square foot. This process is also called the Solar Constant. This energy is absorbed, dispersed, and reflected by the atmosphere; beaming its radiation to earth’s ground. Almost half of this energy is visible light, approximately half is infrared radiation, and a very small portion of it is ultraviolet radiation.
There are many ways to convert this energy. Some use it to heat their water and homes; some convert it to Electrical Energy. Most of the world’s energy needs have been met by converting solar energy into its electrical or mechanical forms. Electrical energy conversion of solar energy can be quite expensive. Much more than it would be to convert into thermal energy, but worth it in the long run. Solar panels or solar cells have been created to convert solar energy into mechanical energy, which can then be converted into electrical energy or used directly.
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This green energy alternative would cause a reduction in our environmental impact because it has less physical impact on the environment. They also help reduce the level of greenhouse gases produced and would decrease the demands of fossil fuels. Without a reliable, yet sustainable source of energy for the future, mankind will face a continued environmental destruction and continue to contribute to the growing problem of global warming. In order to stop the damage that is being done to the environment, we need to switch to an environmentally friendly energy production system.
If we do not switch, the current facilities who rely mainly on fossil fuels, will continue to destroy the earth because they are leaving behind toxic residues and wasteful by products that will have to be dealt with for many years. The future lies with systems that eliminate these toxic and wasteful by products. Only by switching to fully renewable energy systems will humanity be free of these toxins. With our current technology and the expanding knowledge of tomorrow, wind turbines have a 30 year life p.
The effort used to run these turbines is lower than the use of traditional power plants. Using wind energy to power turbines instead of plants using fossil fuels for energy will reduce the overall impact of the U. S. Energy production. The before mentioned solar panel has a life expectancy of approximately 25 years. The total cost per kilowatt is way lower for solar panels than that of fossil fueled based power plants. These panels, once installed, need little to no maintenance. There is no monthly bill or added fees.
Just like wind energy, solar energy is completely sustainable and they do not produce any physical by products. I believe that wind and solar energy is the perfect solution to the future of preserving the earth’s environment. Our environment is turning against us and there is a shortage of fossil fuels. It seems as though mankind as a whole is killing itself off. Mankind as a whole needs to rid itself of its dependency of fossil fuels. While wind and solar energy are not the only options available for sustainable energy solutions, in my opinion, they are the best alternative solutions.
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