As of 2015, there are two types of solar energy collection in common use. The first type of solar power uses photovoltaic cells to create energy by collecting light from the sun. The second type of solar energy focuses the light from a large area onto one point to boil a liquid.Know More
Photovoltaic cells use specially treated semiconductor wafers that have positive and negative sides. The light hitting the wafer knocks electrons loose from the semiconductor. Conductors that have been hooked up to the cell transmit the electric current to an end point, such as a battery or a light. The amount of current produced by each cell depends on the amount of light that strikes the cell. These photovoltaic cells produce only a small amount of electricity, but they can be wired together to form modules. Modules can then be wired together to form arrays.
Concentrated solar energy involves the use of mirrors to gather sunlight and refocus the light from a wide area onto a small point. The focus point may be for each individual mirror or for the entire array. Both curved and flat mirrors are used in this application. The sunlight is focused to boil liquids, which turns a steam-powered turbine that produces electricity.Learn more about Sustainability
Solar energy offers many advantages, including lower electric bills, increased home value and a decreased carbon footprint. According to SolarWorld-USA, homeowners who install solar panels on their homes save an average of 50 percent off of their electric bills. Using solar energy is also environmentally friendly since it comes directly from the sun and does not produce any harmful waste products.Full Answer >
A solar chimney is a passive solar ventilation system that allows cool air into a building while pushing hot air out. During the day, solar energy heats the air within the chimney, causing an updraft. The suction created at the base of the chimney then ventilates the building.Full Answer >
The average cost of solar panels in 2014 fluctuated from 70 to 73 cents per watt, according to Clean Technica. This price is half of what panels cost in 2008 and approximately 100 times lower than the average cost per panel in 1977.Full Answer >
According to the Solar Energy Industry Association, solar power can involve generating current directly from the action of ultraviolet radiation on treated silicon using the sun's heat to boil water and drive an electric turbine with steam. Small-scale solar power installations, such as those on a private residence, usually use photovoltaic cells. Industrial-scale solar power plants tend to use solar thermal technology to create power.Full Answer >