KIEL & BLAKE
Definition And How It Works plus facts
2. Energy derived from the sun's radiation. Solar energy is used on Earth in various ways. It is used as a passive source of energy, for example, in the form of sunlight that comes through a window and heats up a room, or as an active source, as in the conversion of sunlight to electrical energy in solar cells.
solar energy - energy from the sun that is converted into thermal or electrical energy; "the amount of energy falling on the earth is given by the solar constant, but very little use has been made of solar energy"
(General Physics) energy obtained from solar power.
Fact 1: Solar energy is a completely free source of energy and it is found in abundance. Though the sun is 90 million miles from the earth, it takes less than 10 minutes for light to travel from that much of distance.
Fact 2: Solar energy which comprises of radiant heat and light from the sun can be harnessed with some modern technology like photo-voltaic, solar heating, artificial photosynthesis, solar architecture and solar thermal electricity.
Fact 3: The solar technology can be distinguished into active and passive. Photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors which harness solar energy are examples of active solar technology. Passive technology includes constructing rooms to improve air circulation, orienting space to favorably use sunlight.
Fact 4: The earth gets 174 Petawatts of incoming solar radiation in the upper atmosphere. About 30% is reflected back to space and the rest is absorbed by oceans, clouds and land masses.
Fact 5: The water cycle is an important result of solar insulation. The earth, oceans and atmosphere absorb solar radiation and their temperature rises. Warm air rises from the oceans causing convection. When this air rises to high altitudes, clouds are created by condensation of water vapor. These clouds cause rains that bring water back to the earth’s surface which completes the water cycle.
Fact 6: Solar energy has also another use. By means of photosynthesis, solar energy is converted by green plants into chemical energy which creates the bio mass that makes up the fossil fuels.
Fact 7: Horticulture and agriculture seek to make the maximum use of solar energy. These include techniques like timing of planting cycles and mixing of plant varieties. Green houses are also used to convert light into heat to promote year round cultivation of special crops.
advantages & disadvanteges
The primary disadvantage of solar power is that it obviously cannot be created during the night. The power generated is also reduced during times of cloud cover (although energy is still produced on a cloudy day). Solar panel energy output is maximized when the panel is directly facing the sun. This means that panels in a fixed location, such as the building above, will see a reduced energy production when the sun is not at an optimal angle. Many largescale solar "farms" combat this problem by having the panels on towers (above left) that can track the sun to keep the panel at optimal angles throughout the day