What is solar energy?

To know where to find solar energy, you must first know what it is. Solar energy is the energy of the sun. When the sun is shining, solar energy is produced because it sends the heat that radiates to the earth. You can find solar energy anywhere or anything on which the sun can shine. There is a way to preserve sunlight to provide warmth in cold weather, as millions of people have done over the years. It began thousands of years ago, when people were able to use a thick lens or magnifying glass on an object that could attract sunlight onto that object and become so hot that it would kindled. This gave a new perspective on the strength of the sun's heat.

The problem with capturing the heat of the suns is that it does not reach the surface of the earth. It spreads evenly over the earth where sunlight can reach. When this happens, it can be difficult to heat something using only sunlight. Although the area or object may be hot if exposed to the sun for too long, it will not reach the maximum heating potential of sunlight.

To use heat efficiently to heat a room after sunset or when the sun can not shine due to clouds, you will need to use a source that will draw heat to a particular area. This source is called a solar collector. The solar collector attracts a lot of sun in a particular area, allowing the sun to cross the source and enter the space. The objects in space absorb and retain the heat of the sunlight and hold it so that it can not come out with the help of the source. Glass is an excellent solar collector because it allows the sun to cross and enter the space, but the heat of the sun can rarely escape, leaving space under the glass to warm up or warm up under the effect heat. Objects in the space help retain heat as it enters, so the space stays hot longer. This allows to heat the area using solar energy.

Because glass is a natural solar collector, it is therefore ideal to place it in a greenhouse or a sunny room. The glass attracts sunlight and captures the heat inside, so the temperature in the greenhouse or sunny room stays warm even at night, while the outside temperature can be cold.

Solar energy can be found everywhere the sun is shining, but for the heat to be filled, you need to benefit from direct sunlight for an extended period of time. If you simply use the morning sun to heat your home, it may not stay warm all night.

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What is solar energy?

Solar energy is a form of renewable energy because it uses the radiant energy of the sun. This is done by converting sunlight into electricity using solar cells.

Solar or photovoltaic cells were invented in the 1880s by Charles Fritts. Although the sun did not convert much sunlight into electricity at the time, a revolution continued until the 20th century. Perhaps the best example is the Vanguard 1, a satellite equipped with solar cells that allowed it to retransmit to the ground after exhausting its chemical battery.

This success prompted NASA and its Russian counterpart to do the same with other satellites, including Telstar, which continues to serve as the backbone of the telecommunications structure.

The most significant event that boosted demand for solar energy was the 1973 oil crisis. In the beginning, utilities billed the consumer for $ 100 per watt. In the 1980s, it was only $ 7 per watt. Unfortunately, as the lack of government funding has not supported its growth, solar energy growth was only 15% per year from 1984 to 1996.

Demand for solar energy has decreased in the United States, but has increased in Japan and Germany. From 31.2 megawatts of power in 1994, this power increased to 318 megawatts in 1999 and global production growth increased by 30% by the end of the 20th century.

Next to these two countries, Spain is the third largest user of solar energy, followed by France, Italy and South Korea.

There are three basic approaches to getting the most out of solar energy. These include passive photovoltaic systems, active and solar.

1. In passive mode, this owes much to the design of the building. This will allow the building to avoid heat loss, so that people inside will feel very comfortable with controlled ventilation and daytime lighting. Houses implementing this solution will significantly reduce their heating needs by 80% at minimal cost.

2. Active solar heating is used to convert sunlight into heat providing space or water heating. Highly used in Europe, getting the right size will cover from 50% to 60% of your hot water heating needs.

3. Finally, photovoltaics converts solar radiation into electricity. This is done by installing solar cells in the ground and the higher the intensity of the light, the greater the flow of electricity. These are available in different sizes and some are installed in consumer devices such as calculators and watches.

Some vehicles are now powered by solar energy. The cars, even though they are not yet produced, are competing in the World Solar Challenge, which invites competitors from  around the world   to participate in this annual event in Australia. There are also unmanned aerial vehicles and balloons. To date, solar energy has only been successful on passenger boats.

Many of us take the sun for granted and if we really want to preserve the environment and reduce our demand for oil, solar energy is just one of the options we have on the table. We need to lobby and convince the heads of government to do more, because it is the cheapest way to provide electricity to our home compared to rechargeable batteries, kerosene or candles.

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