For those of you who have ever been interested in learning about solar energy, especially those of you who are possibly interested in investing in it, the science behind it can be very confusing when you read about it online. For the most part, most of the articles online are written by scientists for scientists.
But when it comes to us ordinary, everyday people, the most we really know about this topic is from using solar powered calculators back in the 80s and 90s. The concept was really simple: the calculator would work under light… otherwise, it wouldn’t.
In essence, that is the very definition of solar power. But this article will list a few more facts about solar energy that are easy to understand, just like those calculators.
- Solar energy is obtained from sunlight (which is probably the only fact that every human totally understands). In essence, rays from the sun are captured and converted to energy.
- The biggest competitors for solar energy are coal and oil.
- Solar energy has actually been used for quite a long time. It has been used in the past for cooking food, drying clothes, heating and removing salt from seawater.
- Solar energy does not add pollution to the environment like other forms of energy do.
- For some areas, solar energy will be hard to obtain due to the lack of sunlight.
- Solar energy is actually the most abundant form of energy on Earth. Think about it this way. Wherever you find sunlight, you will have solar energy.
- Adding to the previous point even further, the sun produces enough solar energy to produce all of our electrical needs on Earth without the need for any other form of energy.
- Light from the sun (light energy) is converted into electricity using solar cells.
- Another term for solar cells is photovoltaic cells.
- Solar cells have been used to power portable devices such as calculators as mentioned above.
- Solar panels are created by combining a large number of solar cells.
- The world’s largest solar power plant is located right here in the United States in the Mojave Desert.
- Space stations and various spacecraft have used solar panels to generate power. This has been an ongoing practice since the 1950s.
- The difference between passive and active solar energy is that passive solar energy does not require any machinery to produce energy.
- Solar energy was first discovered and used by John Herschel, a British astronomer. In an experiment, he used a thermal box to cook food.
- Unfortunately, solar energy is both expensive and difficult to convert into a form of energy that can be used by the mass population.
- On a fortunate note, advancements in technology combined with decreasing prices have made solar power a more viable option for consumers.
Hopefully the facts listed above will give you a better understanding of solar energy. By having a basic understanding of the topic, you can now start to expand your knowledge.