Your visit shows us you are at least interested in solar power and the benefits that come from solar energy. During your stay here we will explore a variety of ways to harness the Sun's solar energy. We will touch on solar cells which turn solar energy into useable electricity. We will also investigate using solar energy to heat water for your house or for the pool! The third topic in our Products page will be the use of passive solar energy architecture in homes.
We will also touch on fossil fuels and the amount of pollution created by burning them. To be honest with you, the statistics are a bit startling. We will take a look at some solar energy setups, which hopefully will give you some ideas on how you can harness solar power right at your own home.
If you currently have a solar energy / solar power setup, please email us the statistics, and maybe even some pictures. I would be grateful to share your solar power information.
Sunlight—solar energy—can be used to generate electricity, provide hot water, and to heat, cool, and light buildings using solar power.
Photovoltaic (solar cell) systems convert solar energy directly into electricity. A solar cell consists of semiconducting material that absorbs the sunlight. The solar energy knocks electrons loose from their atoms, allowing the electrons to flow through the material to produce electricity. Solar cells are typically combined into modules that hold about 40 cells. About 10 of these modules are mounted in solar arrays. Solar arrays can be used to generate electricity for a single building or, in large numbers, for a power plant. A power plant can also use a concentrating solar power system, which uses the sun's heat to generate electricity. The sunlight is collected and focused with mirrors to create a high-intensity heat source. This heat source produces steam or mechanical power to run a generator that creates electricity.
Solar water heating systems for buildings have two main parts: a solar collector and a storage tank. Typically, a flat-plate collector—a thin, flat, rectangular box with a transparent cover—is mounted on the roof, facing the sun collecting the solar energy. The sun heats an absorber plate in the collector, which, in turn, heats the fluid running through tubes within the solar collector. To move the heated fluid between the collector and the storage tank, a system either uses a pump or gravity, as water has a tendency to naturally circulate as it is heated. Systems that use fluids other than water in the collector's tubes usually heat the water by passing it through a coil of tubing in the tank.
A solar collector is not always needed when using sunlight to heat a building. Some buildings can be designed for passive solar heating. These buildings usually have large, south-facing windows. Many of the passive solar heating design features also provide daylighting. Daylighting is simply the use of natural sunlight to brighten up a building's interior.
Solar power is obtainable for everyone. Whether your solar power setup is small or your is on a massive scale, you too can reap the benefits of solar energy and solar power.
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