How We Turn Solar Energy Into Electricity

How We Turn Solar Energy Into Electricity


I have a very distinct memory of tv telling
me, “every hour the sun beams enough solar energy to power our planet for a year.” Solar
power, however, has yet to deliver on this promise from my children’s television. Why
is it so hard???? The sun shines on us every day, it comes down
here we gather it up and we use it for energy — boom boom boom, done! But it’s slightly
more complicated than that, as you know. In 1873, electrical engineer Willoughby Smith
discovered the element selenium was photoconductive — when exposed to sunlight the metallic form
of selenium becomes a semiconductor! Three years later, other scientists discovered selenium
could be used to create electricity from sunlight — dubbed the photoelectric effect. When sunlight
hits a metal like selenium the electromagnetic radiation is absorbed into it — this fueled
a whole HOST of physics nerds who are still arguing whether light is a particle or a wave
to this day! It was such a big deal the 1921 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to Albert
Einstein for explaining the photoelectric effect, and for his contributions to theoretical
physics… or whatever. Eventually, scientists discovered that the
light energy causes the freeing of electrons which, if captured, could be used to generate
electricity!. This photoelectric effect has since been cultivated and researched and cultivated
again, and the discovery that many different elements display a photoelectric effect opened
it up for use in a number of inventions! Photosensitive cells are used in televisions, industrial
processes, telecommunications, fiber optics, copy machines, spectroscopy and telescopy,
and to sense pollution or emphasize other lights like in night vision or infrared cameras;
plus, of course, solar panels via a photovoltaic cell. Photovoltaics were invented in the 1950s,
and were popularized by the space program as a way to power satellites. In the 1970s,
pushes were made to modernize photovoltaics for use in commercial and residential power
— but consumers mainly used them for calculators, watches, radios and the like. Like a battery,
a photovoltaic cell has a positive and negative to guide the electrons into the system. Each
cell uses a pair of silicon wafers — one doped with phosphorous (negative) and one
with boron (positive). From 1995 to 2010 solar energy use grew 20
percent a year — and now, new inventions are making it even more affordable. Firstly,
in 2009, China created way more solar panels than the market needed, and the price collapsed.
And secondly, state and federal governments in the United States, Germany, the United
Kingdom and Japan are all giving subsidies to cultivate better renewable energy systems.
This means more supply and demand for this technology, and as money flows through renewables,
they get better! Recently the University of Queen Mary in London
revealed they can turn shrimp shells into cheap solar panels. The shells of crustaceans
contain chitin and chitosan which can be extracted into CQD or carbon quantum dots — CQD solar
cells aren’t new, but usually use expensive ruthenium for its photoelectric properties.
Instead, the researchers found this biomass byproduct of the shrimp industry can be used
to extract CQDs and create fully renewable, cheap solar cells! Pretty cool, huh? Fortunately solar cells
aren’t the only place finding greener solutions for energy use — Toyota is, too! The new
Toyota Mirai is looking to the future with sustainability in mind; fueled by hydrogen
and leaving zero emissions behind. Every year renewable energy is getting better,
but it’s not yet as efficient as we’d hope. For more on the efficiency of the most common
types of energy production, check out my video about that here What do YOU think is the most promising type
of energy? Solar? Wind? Nuclear? Or plain old coal, oil and gas? Why? Tell me your thoughts
in the comments, and thanks for watching. If you haven’t subscribed yet, why not? Go
do it! We need you here! Thanks again.

100 thoughts on “How We Turn Solar Energy Into Electricity

  1. Thanks. I think both nuclear and solar hold great promise for future electricity generation. Nuclear for large scale and solar for smaller scale. But no doubt more corporate and political will is needed.

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  3. Geothermal energy is something Ive been recently interested in, as well as the others to help with reducing the ridiculous energy bills these days. (course where I live geothermal isn't practical to go for since well, there are no steam geysers)

  4. i'm gonna go with solar then wind, biomass and hydroelectric energy as of today. If it is possible to harness Fusion energy then it would be huge breakthrough in production of clean energy.

  5. Even small electrical devices are getting super efficient at harnassing the sun's energy. amazing

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  6. i think nuclear fusion is the way forward, even though we arent even close to making it work. It's just a really cool concept.

  7. I think hydroelectric power is cheap and sustainable if we are having a perrinal system of river . and undoubtedly solar is one of the most promising source of energy

  8. I donť think it is true that hydrogen fuel leaves no emissions behind. Firstly you have to create the hydrogen which must leave something after the process, correct me if I am wrong.

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  11. FINALLY!

    Someone who explained the elements that give positive and negative charge to the layers!
    Maaaaaan. So many videos and this is the only one that had it! Well done! Thumbs up.

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  14. Solar is the most promising. Solar energy is just waiting for that 1 breakthrough like Edison's light bulb or the Wright brother's first flight. I believe that solar can and will be made much more efficiently and and cheep but the greatest obstetrical will be the fossil fuel industry which will try to kill it. People like the Koch brothers whose fortune in in the fossil fuels have already lobbied to tax people with solar panels to discourage use of them and have succeed in some states. The fossil fuel industry is the most corrupt industry what has way too much power that threaten us all.

  15. Seeker I have a couple of questions on Solar Panels.

    Currently, is the amount of electricity you get dependent upon how intense the light is or is it more dependent upon how deficient they are made? If so how much more can you direct sunlight using parabolic mirrors to photo cells to get more power?

    How long to solar panels last?

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  17. Wasted 4 minutes of my life. A highschool student can explain way better than this useless fellow. And toyota hired him to say so. SAD.

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  19. Nice movie. However you should take instructions from Avasva website if you want to learn how to make it easily.

  20. I want to try and combine photovoltaic effect having semi conductors with luminescent substances or fluids to create a special photovoltaic cell

  21. Make it yourself thanks to Avasva solutions. I think it's the best way to learn how to build it in the cheapest way.

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  23. Good video, but friends if u want this energy at it home with lowest price , u must try this product u will love it. Please visit link https://bit. ly/2soZv6O
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  24. Make it yourself thanks to Avasva solutions. I think it's the best way to learn how to build it in the cheapest way.

  25. Great place to learn how to make it yourself much much cheaper. Just google for 'Avasva' website:)

  26. We waste lots of lots of shrimp shell every day in Bangladesh.
    Think about that, Worlds 60% shrimp exported from Bangladesh.

  27. Hey guys can you do night shift on an arc furnace? If so ill buy a set. Its like buying a car that only runs for 40% of the day is that a great thing for a transport company? Side affect: car cannot run on rainy or overcast days…

  28. B.S. is eternal. No one on YT offers what others really need. It's all a scam just to make money. Going within, does not include outside sources.

  29. Your information is really awesome as well as it is very excellent and i got more interesting information from your video.

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  30. Solar power is the way to go. Solar power allows you to get off the central grid and become a grid of your own. Prices since you've made this video have dropped dramatically. So much so that the idea of a central electrical power source as we have now may be obsolete in a few years. Solar power prices as it stands in 1/2019 is generating electricity at a cost of about 3¢ per kilowatt hour. Solar pricing now is waaayyy below natural gas, coal, oil powered plants. Or what I've gathered from all of the Solar vids on youtube.

  31. Light is not a particle or wave you need to start thinking of light more like gravity it's the constant but only if something is there to cause. Like the like time it is a constant force

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  33. Fracking, Bottled Water Companies and Extreme Drought, are all having huge impacts on Our Water. ( tinyurl.com/y3gpstue ) Add California's water supply to your list of "things headed for imminent collapse." The state has only one year of reserves remaining, warns Jay Famiglietti, the senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech.

  34. Solar Energy Unreliability
    The world population is increasing, and demand for energy, especially electricity, is rising steadily. The commonly used source of energy is coal, which constitutes 41% of electricity production in the USA. Due to the high level of pollution caused by coal mining, there is a need to find a sustainable source of energy such as wind. Solar energy is a renewable source of energy. It conserves the environment since it does not contribute to environmental pollution. The question that arises is whether preceding other forms of energy such as coal and using solar energy alone will meet all needs. Energy currently is used in all forms of life from the health sector to manufacturing, and one source of energy cannot satisfy.
    Solar energy lacks efficiency, consistency, and cannot meet electricity demand. Sunlight energy is affected by climatic and land topography, and the acts affect sunlight availability. The actual output of solar energy plants is lower compared to wind energy plants. For example, the median output of PV (photovoltaic) panel is 38% while the output is only 20% of their calculated potential (Sampaio, & González, M. O. A., 2017). Solar energy solar plants are unreliable and inconsistent since they are producing less than their calculated output; therefore cannot meet current population needs.
    Population growth is on rising, so does the need for a stable form of energy. Currently, 1.3 billion people don't have access to electrical energy. Energy is required in the public and private transport sector, which solar energy cannot satisfy alone. Solar energy is required in the health sector and in enterprises to ensure activities are running smoothly. Storing solar energy is expensive, and the cost of solar energy is high. Costs and storage inconveniences make it hard for solar energy to satisfy all needs.
    Solar energy is not economically reliable. The solar industry in the US heavily depends on government mandates and subsidies, which makes the industry unreliable since it cannot sustain itself. Taxpayers in that matter will be the one supporting the industry that itself depends on government policies, mandate, and subsidies (Lofthouse et al., 2015). Solar energy cannot fully satisfy our needs since it depends on government mandate and subsidies, which mean it can partly cover some part, such as home lighting. Following economic liability, solar energy is unreliable and cannot provide for all human needs in all sectors.
    Solar energy has hidden environmental costs since it is not self-sustaining. Solar energy is inconsistency since it is affected by factors such as weather and requires back-up of others source of energy. Inconsistency of cosmic energy forces grid managers to incorporate other energy sources such as coal and natural gas to provide backup when there is no sunlight. Cycling other sources of energy make solar energy makes it unreliable and impure since fossil fuels are pollutants making it less clean. Solar energy is dependent on other forms of energy and makes it unpredictable.
    Solar energy cannot satisfy all human needs. Solar energy is unreliable and inefficient. Sunlight, which is the primary source of solar energy, is not always available, making it hard for it to consistently meet electricity demand and relies on other forms of energy as a backup. Solar energy is more costly since it requires taxpayers’ cash as a prop and government subsidies to keep the industry running, and that is more costly to the taxpayer as it is not beneficial. The improvement of solar energy in the future is open questions to be solved by concerned parties and government subsidies.

    References
    Lofthouse, J., Policy, S., Simmons, R. T., & Yonk, R. M. (2015). Reliability of renewable energy: Solar. Institute of Political Economy, UtahState University.
    Sampaio, P. G. V., & González, M. O. A. (2017). Photovoltaic solar energy: Conceptual framework. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 74, 590-601.

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