WHAT IS UV RADIATION?

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a form of electromagnetic radiation that comes from the sun. Humans have found use for this radiation in industry and dentistry. However, too much exposure to UV rays harms not just humans but can alter our environment because it can inhibit growth in green plants. The ozone layer that protects us from harmful UV rays has faced depletion, primarily due to certain types of chemicals we humans manufacture.

Our natural source of UV radiation:

The sun

Some artificial sources of UV radiation include:

  • Tanning beds
  • Mercury vapor lighting (often found in stadiums and school gyms)
  • Some halogen, fluorescent, and incandescent lights
  • Some types of lasers

UV radiation is classified into three primary types: ultraviolet A (UVA), ultraviolet B (UVB), and ultraviolet C (UVC), based on their wavelengths. Almost all of the UV radiation that reaches earth is UVA though some UVB radiation reaches earth. UVA and UVB radiation can both affect health but UVA penetrates deeper into the skin and is more constant throughout the year.

Benefits

The production of vitamin D, a vitamin essential to human health.

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus from food and assists bone development. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 5 to 15 minutes of sun exposure 2 to 3 times a week.

Risks

Sunburn is a sign of short-term overexposure, while premature aging and skin cancer are side effects of prolonged UV exposure.
UV exposure increases the risk of potentially blinding eye diseases, if eye protection is not used.
Overexposure to UV radiation can lead to serious health issues, including cancer.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. The two most common types of skin cancer are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. Typically, they form on the head, face, neck, hands, and arms because these body parts are the most exposed to UV radiation. Most cases of melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer, are caused by exposure to UV radiation.

Anyone can have harmful health effects from UV radiation, but the risks increase in people who:

Spend a lot of time in the sun or have been sunburned.
Have light-color skin, hair, and eyes.
Take some types of oral and topical medicines, such as antibiotics, birth control pills, and benzoyl peroxide products, as well as some cosmetics, may increase skin and eye sensitivity to UV in all skin types.
Have a family member with skin cancer.
Are over age 50.

To protect yourself from UV radiation:

Stay in the shade, especially during midday hours.
Wear clothes that cover your arms and legs.
Consider options to protect your children.
Wear a wide brim hat to shade your face, head, ears, and neck.
Wear wraparound sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.
Use sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or higher, for both UVA and UVB protection.
Avoid indoor tanning. Indoor tanning is particularly dangerous for younger users; people who begin indoor tanning during adolescence or early adulthood have a higher risk of developing melanoma.

Credt : National centre for Environment health   

Picture Credit : Google 

WHICH IS THE FIRST FULLY SOLAR-POWERED EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTE IN INDIA?

The Sri Aurobindo International Centre for Education in Puducherry is the first fully solar-powered educational institute in India. With solar panels installed on almost all the rooftops in the campus, the school produces three times more energy than what it consumes.  

Many schools encourage their students to switch off the fans and lights after use, plant trees and take other initiatives to save energy. However, very few go beyond just asking them to take precautions and save energy. SAICE is different. This educational institute is self-reliant in terms of energy; it meets all its energy requirements through solar power. Moreover, it produces three times the electricity it consumes and lights up many other buildings with the excess energy. And it has done so by devising and implementing a project almost entirely on its own.

SAICE is a part of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry. It was in 2012 that Dr. Brahmanand Mohanty, an alumnus of SAICE, came up with the idea of making the ashram energy efficient with the help of a sustainable model.

Dr. Mohanty had a vision of developing a system that would make SAICE self-dependent for energy. With this in mind, he had a meeting with the trustees of the Ashram. They gave him the go ahead and even suggested that pilot research activities should be taken up with the active participation of the young teachers and students at the Institute. And then it all began. The whole project was conducted in two phases from 2012 to 2015.

Following this analysis, all inefficient lamps, fans, air conditioners, and computers, which had been in use since a long period of time, were substituted by more energy-efficient alternatives to lower the energy demand by more than 25 percent, without compromising on the quality and service.

With a better understanding of how much energy the educational institute was consuming, they came to the decision that a solar power plant should be installed inside the campus so as to meet all the energy demands in-house. Thus, a 17 kWp rooftop solar power plant was set up in the school by an Auroville-based solar installer.Teachers and students were involved in the entire process right from the start. They helped in the basic wiring, setting up the panels on the rooftop, and more.

Credit : The better india

Picture Credit : Google 

WHICH IS THE FIRST CARBON NEUTRAL VILLAGE IN INDIA?

Palli, a village in Jammu and Kashmir's border district of Samba, became India's first "carbon-neutral panchayat on April 24, 2022, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicating to the nation a 500-kilowatt solar plant. Palli, according to the Prime Minister, has shown the way to the country by becoming carbon neutral. But what is carbon neutrality and how can it be achieved? Let's find out.

What is carbon neutrality?

We all know that carbon dioxide emissions are one of the primary causes of climate change and an increasingly warming planet. Carbon-neutrality is the state of achieving a balance between the greenhouse gases put out into the atmosphere and those removed. The term 'Net-zero' is sometimes used instead of carbon neutrality and they broadly mean the same. Increasingly, countries, companies, and organisations have been committing to achieve carbon-neutrality or net-zero carbon emission through measures such as reforestation and artificial carbon sequestering. But some environmental activists have criticised such offsetting measures as an excuse to continue polluting. If you've been wondering about the benefits of achieving carbon neutrality, there are many such as less pollution, improved air quality, better health and environment, green jobs, reducing the impact of climate change, and a greener planet.

How can it be achieved?

Carbon neutrality can be achieved by reducing the use of fossil fuels and by adopting renewable energy sources, by developing energy-efficient technologies, by adopting massive reforestation or tree-planting measures and by investing in technologies such as carbon sequestration that can remove carbon from the atmosphere. By the way, carbon sequestration is the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide underground permanently and safely. However, no technology or quantity of trees planted could offset the emissions currently generated globally, unless every country and every household is part of this solution.

Palli's feat

The unassuming village of Palli has made history by becoming India's first carbon-neutral solar village. It has achieved this feat with the installation of a 500-kilowatt solar plant. According to reports, the project was finished in record time (of nearly three weeks) at a cost of Rs. 2.75 crore. Under the central government's 'Gram Urja Swaraj' programme, as many as 1,500 solar panels put up on an area of 6,408 square metres will provide clean electricity to 340 homes in the model panchayat.

The green energy generated will be distributed to the village through the local power grid station, which has a daily requirement of 2,000 units.

Picture Credit : Google 

WHICH IS THE LARGEST SOLAR PARK IN THE WORLD?

Bhadla Solar Park is the largest solar park in India and in the world. Located in Bhadla, north of Jodhpur, it spans 14,000 acres, with over 10 million solar panels contributing to an operational capacity of 2245MW. The panels are cleaned by robots and monitored by humans. Bhadla is a sandy, arid region described as "almost unlivable" with normal temperatures of 46-48°C, and frequent hot winds and sandstorms. The region receives a good amount of radiation ideal for the generation of solar energy.

The entire project was divided into four phases. In the first phase of the park's establishment, solar panels were established to produce 65 MW of energy in capacities ranging from 5 MW to 25 MW. The following step of the project comprised of commissioning of the second phase of 680 MW. The first two phases of the park were developed by the Rajasthan Solar Power Park Company Limited. Saurya Urja Company of Rajasthan developed the third instalment. The project's final stage was designed by Adani renewable energy park for the capacity of 500 MW.

The auction conducted for Bhadla Solar Park recorded the price per unit fall to as low as ?2.62. Surprisingly, the price is lower than National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Limited's price of ?3.20 per unit. The Indian Express quoted a senior official, "Bhadla Ph-IV Solar Park results in a historic lowering of tariffs. Phelan Energy (50MW) and Avaada Power (100 MW) have bagged projects at Rs 2.62/unit. Softbank Cleantech has won 100 MW capacity at Rs 2.63/unit".
India's has strongly started working in the direction of producing solar energy in recent years. Currently, there are over 30 massive solar projects at various stages in the country. With investments in solar projects, India is consistently working towards reducing its dependence on imported fossil fuels. Moreover, in rural areas, solar-powered lighting is proving much more beneficial than indoor lighting by kerosene. In June 2021, PM Narendra Modi said that India had increased its renewable energy capacity by 250 per cent since 2014. India has one of the fastest-growing populations and economies, which would directly benefit from increased renewable energy resources.

Credit : The logical indian

Picture Credit : Google 

What is solar energy?



 



The Sun covers our planet in light and warmth. A mixture of heat and light from the Sun can be used as energy to heat water and make machines work. Energy from the Sun is called solar energy. Solar means to do with the Sun.



The Sun is a blazing star.



This huge burning ball of gas is our nearest star. Even though it is 150 million km away from Earth, the Sun can shine so brightly that you need to shade your eyes from its light. Sunlight can feel hot on your skin. You need to wear sun cream to protect your skin.



 



 



 



 





 



 



 



Energy makes things work. You need energy to throw a ball.



Without energy, nothing works. Everything needs energy. There are many types of energy. The Sun’s energy helps plants and flowers to grow. We eat plants and other foods. The energy from food gives us the energy to throw a ball and run around.



 



 



 





 



The Sun’s heat dries wet clothes.



The Sun is packed with energy. In one hour, the Earth receives more energy from the Sun than the whole world uses in a year. This energy can also be used to generate electricity. We call this electricity solar power.