Solar Energy

By: Jack Randle

What is Solar energy and how does it work?

  • The direct use of sunlight to produce heat and electric power
  • It is converted into a process called photovoltaic conversion
  • The sun is a renewable resource so solar energy never runs out
  • Solar energy is absorbed, scattered, and reflected by the atmosphere
  • Thinly distributed over large areas
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  • Sunlight, powerful source of energy since ancient times
  • "Burning glasses" that dated back to 7 B.C.E
  • Glasses could concentrate sunlight into a beam
  • Alexandre Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect in 1839
  • Immersed two plates in solution, observed a small voltage contact with the sun
  • In 1954, scientists at Bell Telephone Laboratories, first photovoltaic cell
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Pro's vs Con's


  • Oil, gas are in short supply
  • Earth receives 4 quadrillion kilowatt-hours
  • Direct use produce's heat, electric power
  • renewable resource so we don't run out
  • More expensive power source than fossil fuels
  • Solar energy, efficiency of 12% - 14%
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Where is it used and how is it used?

  • Solar thermal devices heat water, steam
  • Hydroelectric power plants, energy, moving water
  • Heat from sun controls the weather
  • Solar energy can supply power
  • Energy, electric changes, through layers, conductive material
  • Used where places need lots of power
  • Like power plants, and houses