Monday, October 20, 2014

Solar Power As a Renewable Energy Source

Solar energy is a vital part of life. It was the first source of energy in the world; used even before humans knew how to start a fire. It lights the Earth, provides heat, helps to grow crops, influences weather patterns, and is used to produce solar electricity. Without solar energy, life could not be supported on Earth; on land or at sea.

Solar is the first energy source in the world. It was in use much earlier before humans even learn how to light a fire.

Solar electricity differs from solar energy in that solar electricity has to be harnessed and converted into energy by relying on man-made devices, such as solar panels or solar cells in order to provide the clean, harmless, low-cost, renewable energy that is available to us every single day.

Solar power or electricity isn't only possible when it is completely sunny outside. As long as there is light outside and a shadow of some kind, there is a possibility of harnessing this wondrous treasure.

Since the sun greatly influences the wind and weather patterns, it is partially responsible for energy produced by the wind. This type of energy has been used for years on a small scale in such things as calculators and other small low-energy producing devices.

Among the types of solar power, passive, active, and photovoltaic are the most prevalent.

Passive solar energy utilizes building constituents such as walls, floors, roofs, windows, exterior building elements and landscaping to control heat generated by sun. Solar heating designs try to trap and store thermal energy from sunlight directly. Passive cooling minimizes the effects of solar radiation through shading or generating air flows with convection ventilation.

Active solar systems use external sources of energy to power blowers, pumps and other types of equipment to collect, store and convert solar energy. Once energy from the sun is absorbed, it is stored for later use. Small systems are used to furnish electricity for heating and cooling systems in homes and other buildings, while large systems can furnish power for entire communities.

Photovoltaic solar cells convert sunlight directly into electricity. Solar cells are often used to power calculators and watches. They are made of semiconducting materials similar to those used in computer chips. When sunlight is absorbed by these materials, the solar energy knocks electrons loose from their atoms, allowing the electrons to flow through the material to produce electricity. This process of converting light (photons) to electricity (voltage) is called the photovoltaic (PV) effect.

Several advantages of solar energy include:

  • Sunlight is free and infinitely renewable.
  • Unlike conventional fossil fuel and nuclear power, solar power produces no polluting emissions, including those that cause global warming.
  • With no moving parts, solar panels are silent, easy to operate, and rarely need maintenance.
  • Solar power can slash utility bills for both residential and commercial consumers. By installing solar panels on its enormous roof, Hawaii's Mauna Lani Bay Hotel began saving enough on energy bills to pay for the investment in just five years.
  • Solar panels can help utilities avoid brownouts and blackouts. When demand for electricity is high, utilities can use the panels to generate extra energy rather than fire up expensive and polluting "peak" power plants that otherwise lie dormant.
  • Many solar panel manufacturers are based in the United States, employing more than 27,000 Americans in high-earning, high-tech jobs. This domestic industry helps reduce our dependence on foreign oil, coal and natural gas.

As of 2013, the technology is not without its problems, however. Applications have mostly been relatively small scale, but a great deal of research is going on in this area with a number of very promising developments.

One encouraging trend showing a promising future for solar energy and its applications is that many of the world's greatest innovators are beginning to focus their efforts on improving alternative sources of energy. As concern grows about the effects of burning fossil fuels, and the possibility of exhausting non-renewable energy sources, the future of solar energy looks bright.

To find out more about renewable energy sources and green efforts visit www.wasteawaygroup.com.


clean-energy-ideas.com
homeguides.sfgate.com
renewableenergyworld.com
alternative-energy-news.info
wisegeek.com
wikipedia.org
nrdc.org

We have used energy from the sun to provide electricity for many years, in the form of solar cell calculators and other small, low energy consuming devices. - See more at: http://www.clean-energy-ideas.com/energy/energy-dictionary/solar-energy-definition#sthash.qSe4jgc1.dpuf
Solar electricity relies upon man-made devices such as solar panels or solar cells in order to provide a source of clean, and low cost renewable energy. - See more at: http://www.clean-energy-ideas.com/energy/energy-dictionary/solar-energy-definition#sthash.qSe4jgc1.dpuf
Solar electricity relies upon man-made devices such as solar panels or solar cells in order to provide a source of clean, and low cost renewable energy. - See more at: http://www.clean-energy-ideas.com/energy/energy-dictionary/solar-energy-definition#sthash.qSe4jgc1.dpuf
Solar electricity relies upon man-made devices such as solar panels or solar cells in order to provide a source of clean, and low cost renewable energy. - See more at: http://www.clean-energy-ideas.com/energy/energy-dictionary/solar-energy-definition#sthash.qSe4jgc1.dpuf
Solar electricity relies upon man-made devices such as solar panels or solar cells in order to provide a source of clean, and low cost renewable energy. - See more at: http://www.clean-energy-ideas.com/energy/energy-dictionary/solar-energy-definition#sthash.qSe4jgc1.dpuf



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