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SOLAR ENERGY



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WHO USES SOLAR ENERGY

Everyone uses solar energy in some way.
Running a remote home, water heating, solar energy centers, and efficient fuel are just some uses of Solar Energy.
http://www.energywhiz.com/9-12/gallery/site01/uses.html

WHERE IS IT FOUND

Solar Energy is found from the sun.
http://solareguide.com/2007/09/we-need-it-but-where-is-solar-energy-found/

HOW DOES IT WORK
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The solar thermal method uses energy from the sun directly to generate heat. Solar panels can be used to collect heat from the sun to capture its heat and transfer it for water and space heating in buildings. Commonly such panels are positioned to maximise absorption of heat from the sun throughout the day and contain tubing through which water circulates. This tubing is known as solar thermal collectors. There is also an indirect method where not water but a non-toxic anti-freeze liquid is used. The sun warms this liquid which in turn transfers this heat to water held in a tank. Passive thermal building design is as simple as designing to maximise the sun’s use.
http://www.alternate-energy-sources.com/how-does-solar-energy-work.html

RENEWABLE OR NON-RENEWABLE

Solar Energy is a non-renewable because if the sun dies out then it's dead forever, and we can't have any more solar energy.

SOLAR ENERGY IS ALL ABOUT

Solar Energy it is about finding a way to use the resources that we have around us, without wasting other resources. Also it is about heating places, and other neccesities for heat.

SOLAR ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Solar energy is free, and its supplies are unlimited. Using solar energy produces no air or water pollution but does have some indirect impacts on the environment. For example, manufacturing the photovoltaic cells used to convert sunlight into electricity, consumes silicon and produces some waste products. In addition, large solar thermal farms can also harm desert ecosystems if not properly managed.

ENERGY FROM THE SUN

The sun has produced energy for billions of years. Solar energy is the sun’s rays (solar radiation) that reach the earth.
Solar energy can be converted into other forms of energy, such as heat and electricity. In the 1830s, the British astronomer John Herschel used a solar thermal collector box (a device that absorbs sunlight to collect heat) to cook food during an expedition to Africa. Today, people use the sun's energy for lots of things.

Solar Energy Pros:
Solar energy can be converted to thermal (or heat) energy and used to. Heat water – for use in homes, buildings, or swimming pools.Heat spaces – inside greenhouses, homes, and other buildings. Solar panels give off no pollution, the only pollution produced as a result of solar panels is the manufacturing of these devices in factories, transportation of the goods, and installation. The production of energy from the use of fossil and some renewable fuels (e.g. wind turbines) can be noisy, yet solar energy produces electricity very quietly. One of the great pros of solar energy is the ability to harness electricity in remote locations that are not linked to a national grid. A prime example of this is in space, where satellites are powered by high efficiency solar cells. The installation of solar panels in remote locations is usually much more cost effective than laying the required high voltage wires.Solar energy can be very efficient in a large area of the globe, and new technologies allow for a more efficient energy production on overcast/dull days. Solar panels can be installed on top of many rooftops, which eliminates the problem of finding the required space for solar panel placement.Another great pro of solar energy is the cost. Although the initial investment of solar cells may be high, once installed, they provide a free source of electricity, which will pay off over the coming years. The use of solar energy to produce electricity allows the user to become less dependent on the worlds fossil fuel supplies.

Solar Energy Cons:
The major con of solar energy is the initial cost of solar cells. Currently, prices of highly efficient solar cells can be above $1000, and some households may need more than one. This makes the initial installation of solar panels very costly. Solar energy is only able to generate electricity during daylight hours. This means for around half of each day, solar panels are not producing energy for your home. The weather can affect the efficiency of solar cells. Pollution can be a con of solar energy, as pollution levels can affect a solar cells efficiency, this would be a major con for businesses or industry wishing to install solar panels in heavily polluted areas, such as cities.
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Image of a solar power tower.Receiver tower has fluid inside that collects heat.Rotating mirrors focus sunlight onto receiver panel.
Image of a solar power tower.Receiver tower has fluid inside that collects heat.Rotating mirrors focus sunlight onto receiver panel.
The U.S. Department of Energy along with a number of electric utilities built and operated a demonstration solar power tower near Barstow, California, during the 1980's and 1990's. Learn more about the history of solar power in the Solar Timeline.










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