Solar Power in a Nutshell

Meera Singhal
5 min readOct 23, 2021
Source

Drip. Drip. Drip. There goes the gooey chocolate ice cream you were dying to eat on a sorching hot day. Almost all of it has turned into a slushy during the five minute you were talking to you friend. Why? Why is it that when you sit and eat ice cream inside, it can last for over half an hour?

Simple. The sun. The sun produces over 4 million tons of energy per second.

Woah, take a moment to re-read that. Ever single second, the sun produces over 4 million tons of solar energy. Thats 345,600,000 tons of energy per day. In a single day, the sun could power the entire world for two years. So why hasnt it? Why are we still burining millions of tons of fossil fuels per day?

Even though the sun could power our entire world for billions of years, we havent quite figured out how to harness solar energy. One of the more popular ways of harnessing solar energy is through photovoltaics (PV).

PV (also known as solar cells) are a smaller part of a solar panel. To create these solar panels, there are two main layers. First, there is a layer of pure silicon, and then an added bit of phosphorus or boron to enhance its properties. First, the silicon is made, then it is mixed with phosphorous or boron. Breaking this down further, lets dive into how silicon is made.

Silicon is made in three main steps as it goes from gravel/quartz to pure silicon ingots. First, the gravel has to go through purification. Scientists take the gravel and put it in a carbon o, a system that releases the oxygen and leaves carbon dioxie and silicon behind. They then use a floating zone technique, which separates the silicon from any leftover 02 and C02. This is acheived by moving a rod of the impure silicon through heated zones and eventually leaving its impurities on one side and the silicon on the other side.

The second step of creating silion is the Czochralski method. This is where scientists take pure silicon and turn it into a single crystal. To do this you would tke a small amount of solid silicon, dip it into meltoded silcon, and spin it till it forms a ingot ( a cylindrical shape).

Finallly, the ingot is made into wafers. The ingots are sliced and polished into shapes about 5 mm thick with a range of diameters; usually from 1–11 inches.

Solar Energy Companies

Solar energy can range from creating solar panels, working on solar agriculture, fighting climate, transportations, and essentially any field that touches power. Below, I have listed the top three solar companies that touch different fields of solar energy. This should help you see the spectrum of solar energy a bit clearer.

Sun Power

Sunpower is a company that helps houses and buisnes turn from running on fossil fuels to solar power! It highlights its cheapness in paticular, with the model that Sun Power solar panels will pay for themselves the more electricty you use.

Sun Run

While Sun Power is one of the better companies overall, Sun Run is known as the #1 Residential Solar Panel Company. While Sun Run is known to be traditionally more costly than Sun Power, the quality of their solar panels last almost 5 years more than Sun Power.

Tesla

Tesla is widely known for its electric car, but on the side, they sell high quality solar panels. Instead of discreet solar panels liek Sun Power and Sun Run, it has visible tesla solar panels glued to their roofs. Tesla optimizes on sun patterns and electricity usages and installs a minimal amount of solar panels to keep the house functional.

Solar Market

It is predicted that by 2026, the global market sor solar energy will grow 20.5 percent since 2018. In 2018, it was valued to be work 52.5 billion dollar, and by 2026, it is estimated to be worth 223.3 billion dollars.

The growth of the solar market is widely driven by the increase in climate change (espeically environmental pollution) and the governments push to instal solar panels in sunnier areas. The demand for solar cells and panels has been increasing relentlessly over the past few years, and researchers believe that it will only continue to grow over the next decade.

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Hello! My name is Meera Singhal, and I am a 14 year old currently fascinated by the field of biotechnology and solar energy. I’ve written articles about biotechnology, mindset tips, and a whole variety of up-and-coming topics. Interested? Check out my medium, LinkedIn, YouTube, or TKS Life Portfolio for more content! Curious to see more about me? Consider subscribing to my Newsletter! Thank you so much!

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Meera Singhal

Biotech Enthusiast at TKS | Stem Cells | Gene Editing