Let The Power Glow!
Solar energy refers to the use of the light and heat of the Sun. Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity. This is achieved by either photovoltaics (solar panels) or by thermal concentrating devices.
There are also many experimental technologies such as thermoelectric converters or solar chimneys.
Our Earth receives 174 petawatts of incoming solar radiation at any given time. Approximately 30% is reflected back to space. The rest is absorbed by clouds, oceans and land. This results in heating of the land surface, oceans and atmosphere.
The conversion of solar into chemical energy via photosynthesis produces food, wood and the biomass from which fossil fuels are derived.
The total solar energy absorbed by Earth's atmosphere, oceans and land masses is approximately 3,850 zettajoules per year. That's more energy in one hour than the world uses in one year.
The amount of solar power reaching Earth is massive. In just one year it is about twice as much energy as we will ever be able to obtain from all non-renewable resources.
Yes, you read that correctly - more than all the oil, natural gas, coal, and uranium combined.
We have found that the two most common solar questions asked are "what is solar power" and "how does solar power work?" Click the links to find the answers!
Applications Of Solar Technology
Solar technologies use solar radiation for practical purposes.
These technologies are broadly classified as passive or active depending on the way they capture and convert sunlight.
Active technologies increase the supply of energy using photovoltaic panels, pumps, and fans to convert sunlight into power, or to utilize the suns warmth in another application.
Passive solar techniques reduce the need for alternate resources.
This may include selecting materials with good thermal properties, designing areas which naturally circulate air and designing new buildings which benefit from the light and warmth of the sun.
You can even cook with the heat of the sun.
For more detailed information, click the text links above and select from the solar topics below:
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