This article explains the need of Solar Energy — The two kind of Solar Energy in market and research right now. What are the drawbacks, what are the benefits of both. And which one can help the current crisis of Clean Energy which are affordable, climate safe as well as good for Earth!
Let us start with cars, where Solar Energy is used apart from huge Solar Panels which are installed at so many places, many more industries and hundreds of small projects.
As I mentioned in my last article, Electric Cars need to be charged. Further, there are several concerns on who shall be making electric charging points, and where the Energy shall come to be supplied to Electric Charging of Electric Car and Electric Batteries.
Well making of Electric Cars are by far no less expensive deal. The chemicals needed in batteries are another concern. To add more yeah, we can charge Electric Cars with electricity generated via, Solar Power.
Sun is the power house of the Solar System. The food we eat is made form the energy of Sun via the process of Photosynthesis in plants. So why cant Sun Energy be directly used run cars, vehicles and even more automobile on road and even boats in seas and ships in oceans ?
Yes, the installation of Solar cars are expensive.
Here is the car — costly to cost $170K, but prizes shall decline sooner as Solar Technology is making innovations, hopefully faster. Go through this video and then see some of my more suggestions below, on how to make it even more independent to run on roads all time, with no dependence on charging issues as in Electric Cars! Have a look!
Now, the key point here is as long as it is in Sun and on Auto Charging mode, is shall run. AND the Good news is once you buy a solar car, NO NEED to pay each month for petrol, diesel or fuel charges, and no need to pay to charge the batteries at charging point ? Is it not a good things — AN incentive for not only Climate Sensitive people as well as for those who would love to save the daily travel fuel expenses. So think now is the investment worth it ?
Also, what if there is no Sun to charge after the initial charging 350 miles that the Sun charged car shall run ! Well this model shifts to charged energy!
But this is just a start in the journey of Solar Cars ! If we don’t start, how shall we improve more ? The story of advanced multi piston petrol car is old, it all started with basics. Hence, accept the current state.
However, in 2018 to 2021, there was a big news in research in renewable energies that was Liquid Solar Energy, developed by scientists in Sweden, the energy of Sun which can be stored in liquid form and can be kept it in this form for decades. Does that not sound good ?
So can it fuel the cars ? Can it fuel the needs of industry and other segments of society relying on fossil fuels. Think! Is it climate friendly! Think again now! Does it release carbon in air — Do I need to answer this now ?
So is it the future, well it can be considered as a good start!
What are the positive and negative of these two ways in which solar energy are trapped
- By Solar Panels these are based on semi-conducting material, like silicon and use other chemicals such as boron and phosphorus as per the make of the solar panel, to release electrons to produce electricity.
- By Solar fuel which is charged by Sunlight, and this solar fuel when ignited provides energy, which can run appliances and hence in future cars too! Why not ?
So main concerns for both these ways for trapping Solar Energy are:
- Solar Panel Challenges: How much semiconductor and the chemicals needed for Solar Panels can we extract from Earth. Be realistic and then project. It is good for sure. I shall provide more insight to this in upcoming articles.
- Solar Fuel for Liquid Solar Energy Challenges: Where shall solar fuel be produced. The Liquid fuel which stores Suns Energy contains a norbornadiene. Norbornadiene is a hydrocarbon, means it contains the only chemicals in it — as Carbon and Hydrogen and their associated bonds to connect the two chemicals. Norbornadiene is prepared by a Diels-Alder reaction between cyclopentadiene and acetylene.
Now to study the potential use of the Solar Energy stored in this Liquid, one must know from where this chemical that stores the Solar Energy in Liquid comes from. The name of chemical compound is Norbornadiene and needs cyclopentadiene to be made. As per Wikipedia Reference  — –
The other chemical needed in making of Cyclopentadine is acetylene, which needs typically methane to be produced on large scale. Now all boils down back to methane. Biogas that I always talk of as a good source of energy usually contains about 55–65% methane. So one can use methane from bio gas then, another good use of methane. So this is sorted out. But how to make Cyclopentadine without fossil fuels is the question ? If from coal tar ( coal tar is formed during the distillation of coal). Coal Tar was listed as a known human carcinogen (cancer causing agent) once in U.S.A, most recent status on it I am not aware of.
The reference  below is a recent research paper which mentions the preparation of Norbornadienes via Dicyclopentadiene. This was published in Aug, 2021. But where do one gets chemical compound Dicyclopentadiene from? Look as per Wikipedia- Dicyclopentadiene in reference  below is prepared from cyclopentadiene itself, the same chemical compound I wrote about in above paragraph.
So does that mean it all revolve around cyclopentadiene ? Then there I found a reference, perhaps a patent, which shows preparation of cyclopentadiene. See the reference  below for details. I did not read the full patent and method of preparation, however it also mentions fossil fuel in some parts. Perhaps mention of municipal gas, coal tar and petroleum. See yourself for more details. Further, the chemical industry may be knowing more ways to create these hydrocarbons.
In case this is made from non-fossil fuels in any of the preparation. Then this serves a purpose of clean energy, else it all boils down to fossil fuels again. Hence, another research topic I suggest is on research on preparation of cyclopentadiene without fossil fuels! As the whole story is to avoid fossil fuels.
All that to say —In summary — — Solar Energy can be trapped by Solar Panels, which need semiconductors and certain other chemicals. While Solar Liquid Fuel needs a liquid which as per basic internet search requires fossil fuels to make the liquid which stores energy. I am not a chemistry post graduate, though I have studied chemistry till my graduation with top grades. So I did a basic search on internet for these, in case some of you are from Chemical Engineering post graduate departments, you can tell me and other people around how to make the Liquid Fuel used in Solar Liquids without indirect use of Fossil Fuel. It this shall help us understand more clean sources of Energy under work and how much Climate Initiatives are under progress.
While for Solar cars and Solar panels — I have a go ahead — till you promise to make these Solar Panels reusable as these semi-conductors are taken from Earth ! Hence costs to Earth! But a good thing do as a one time investment. Once the panel is set us — It can be used and reused for so many years to come. And best news — Once charged with help of Sun for free — there is no need to pay for monthly fuel expenses- So now is the Solar Car worth a buy? Oh yes — if the maintenance charges are not high!
 The Unique Liquid That Stores Energy for Almost Two Decades (interestingengineering.com) https://interestingengineering.com/scientists-develop-liquid-that-can-store-solar-energy-for-more-than-a-decade