Renewable sources of energy are the way for sustainability now and in the future. Among the many naturally renewable sources, solar energy definitely tops the list with yearlong availability. Solar energy has found its use in many fields, including high-tech industries and household purposes. And thanks to the rising prices of other fuel/energy sources like oil and coal and the environmental concerns induced by global warming, solar energy has become a popular choice.
We dont look any more in awe of solar panels over a rooftop. With growing solar farms, there is also the need to have better control and tracking of solar energy transmission, especially through long distances. And energy transmission through the normal wire cables will not work in favor of solar energy. This is where the fiber optics cable comes into the picture.
Fiber optics – what and why
Many of us would have heard the name of optical fiber or the fiber optics in connection with the internet. However, that is not their only field of application. Thanks to their ability to transmit at high speeds and sustain extreme conditions, fiber optics finds a valuable place in many applications, specifically in those concerning solar energy.
With strands of glass fibers encapsulated in an insulated case, the fiber optics cable is the best for high performance and long-distance transmission of networks. They offer a higher bandwidth and allows for data transmission over long distances. They are the backbone of todays internet, telephone, and cable systems across the world.
Fiber optics are not just preferred because of their ability to handle high capacity to transmit solar energy. While that is one of the reasons, there are also other factors which has made this an ultimate choice for solar energy applications.
- Data carried by the fiber optics cable is at the speed of light, which means that the transmission rate is almost immeasurable relatively when compared with the copper wire transmissions.
- The transmission through fiber optics does not cause any kind of electromagnetic interferences (EMI). This saves on the retransmission and security issues, which is the biggest drawback with copper-based networks.
- It can easily withstand fluctuations in temperature, climatic conditions and are even good to use underwater. They are insulated to high voltages, unwanted signals, glitches in current, and many others.
- With regard to the solar panels, fiber optics offer you the most feasible tracking ability.
- Fiber optics is used for transmitting concentrated sunlight, which is then used for the generation of heat, daylight, and electricity.
Fiber optics in solar energy applications
While solar energy is potentially available almost all through the year in many places across the world, it is not always available either. The best example would be the night times. That is why there is a reason to store this energy and use it later in the future when required.
When we speak of storing solar energy, which is quite a powerful one, it is not easy. While the challenge has been overcome with the use of supercapacitors, there was again the question of monitoring and tracking the charge state of these devices.
The fiber optics provided the much-needed solution by helping you to monitor the charge flow in these supercapacitors. Also, given that they transmit light at a faster speed, they are used in many different solar energy applications like solar lighting.
With climatic changes inevitable and renewable energy being the only sustainable possibility, in the long run, solar energy applications have become a worthy choice to invest in. With fiber optics, your investment is secured for the long run since they can withstand many extremities in factors while handling solar energy transmissions.