As I begin I would like you to shut your eyes and imagine a scene of a park early in the morning, the dew setting into the grass the birds frolicking, morning joggers panting for breath and people doing yoga under the trees; all in hope of rejuvenating their bodies with fresh oxygen and exercise. But do we actually know what we breathe in or what goes in the water we drink? Imagine all the things that could be in the water you are drinking? Dust, dirt, washing powder, disintegrated garbage, maybe a human tooth; the possibilities are endless.
The monsoons this year have been rather disappointing, our chances to float paper boats have been far and a few between. The weather is changing quite significantly and we can feel it. Somehow all problems in the Common Era seem to lead to one common root cause, Global warming. Which indirectly points its finger towards us humans. Due to the rapid increase in the population today, the demand for basic amenities such as electricity have gone up. Thus to account for this increase we must also increase supply, fundamental economics.
This cant be done by increasing the amount of fossil fuels being burnt at generation plants, as we know we are already on the edge with our natural resources. Could there be another way? We humans being who we are always learn to make the best of what we get, after using the suns energy for drying clothes for centuries, it is only now that we have been able to use it to generate electricity. Since the suns limitless power is never ending we almost certainly have an unlimited supply of energy. The hope for a “solar revolution” has been floating around for decades.
This is a seductive promise, because on a bright, sunny day, every minute approximately enough energy reaches the earth’s surface to power all our appliances for a whole year. A solar panel is simply made by putting a number of solar cells together and connecting them in a circuit. Its these little components like the cells that are usually the most crucial and tricky, the smaller it gets the harder it is to handle. These solar cells or photovoltaic cells are made up of at least two or more semi conductor layers, one with a positive charge and one with negative charge.
What is a semiconductor you may ask; well in simple terms it is any material with electrical properties intermediate to that of a conductor and an insulator, in this instance silicone. Sunlight consists of little particles of solar energy called photons. As a PV cell is exposed to this sunlight the photons are absorbed by the solar cell. This energy absorbed from the light knocks electrons loose from the negative from the negative semiconductor thus allowing them to flow freely.
Due to the voltage difference created electrons begin to migrate to the positive layer through the circuit; this flow constitutes an electric current. What I’ve done is taken this concept and sort of shrunk it and made a miniature model of an actual solar panel. It works on pretty much the same principal but rather than using silicone I’ve used cuprous oxide as the semiconductor. The light, on hitting the cuprous oxide dislodges some of the electrons, which then flow to the positive terminal whose role is played by the pure copper sheet. Thus creating a cycle and similar to the previous case generating electricity.
On numerous occasions we have heard people talking about global warming and pollution but what really is the solution to all our problems? Well the solution to ALL our problems would be a magical genie, but in this instance the solution to global warming would be sustainable development. It’s a large word for many but a habit or style of living for some. It’s an important part of the ability to successfully maintain the quality of life on our planet. We all know the advantages of sustainable resources its just a matter of incorporating them in our lives.