Solar Energy Overview

Solar energy is a renewable, clean energy that was around for centuries in one form or another. Following is a review of solar energy.

Solar Energy Overview

Solar energy is centered on harnessing the potency of the sun to produce energy. The sun rains enough solar energy on the Earth in one day to power the entire energy needs worldwide for one year. Solar energy is considered a sustainable energy source because it will exist provided our sun does, estimated to be another 4.5 billion years. Solar energy is also considered a clean energy because it doesn’t produce pollutants or byproducts harmful to the environment.

Solar energy was the first energy source used by mankind. Of course, the use was limited to drying things and heating caused by direct contact, but it was a use. In our contemporary world, solar energy is a huge power source since the early 1950s, but was not widespread due to technological issues which rendered it an ineffective and expensive energy source. With technology advancements, solar energy is moving to the forefront as a potential alternative to fossil fuels.

The future is indeed bright for solar energy as new solar nanotechnology is close to creating solar platforms that boggle the mind. For instance, a few companies making the effort to create solar quantum dots, which will be mixed in the paint you use for your home. Yes, you will actually paint on solar energy panels that will power your home

Currently, solar energy is produced primarily with the use of solar cells, often known as photovoltaic cells. The process works by placing the cells in direct sunlight. Sun hits the cells causing a chemical reaction that creates an electric current. The current is then turned into electricity. The problem with these cells, however, is they are only about 15 percent efficient.

Solar energy is typically classified in two ways, passive solar and active solar. Both approaches produce solar energy, but in very different ways

Passive solar is what it sounds like. It doesn’t involve panel systems or other moving mechanisms to produce solar energy. Instead, passive solar involves planning a structure such as to capture the strength of the sun with windows, tanks and so forth. These systems enable you to heat homes, water and so forth.

Active solar energy systems typically involve some sort of solar panels. The panels are oriented to maximize exposure to the sun. With regards to the system, the panels will then either directly converts sunlight to electricity, which is then transformed from direct current electricity to alternate current electricity and stored in batteries or fed into the grid system of the local utility. Active systems can be more expensive and complex.

Solar energy has numerous advantages over other energy platforms. It is produces no pollution, requires little maintenance and comes with significant financial incentives as tax deductions, tax credits and rebates from manufactures. In most states, solar energy may also be sold back to utilities per a concept known as net metering. This reduces the requirement of batteries and significantly cuts utility bills.

Unfortunately, solar energy has some disadvantages as well. The initial cost of purchase and installation can be expensive. Second, areas with limited sunlight are problematic. Third, solar energy obviously can’t be produced at night. Despite these disadvantages, solar energy is a booming energy platform.

The largest producers of solar energy on the planet are Germany, Japan and us. California has recently introduces a solar initiative devoting over three billion dollars to promoting solar energy use by residents in the state. As this overview demonstrates, the solar energy platform is coming on strong.

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