Here are some interesting facts about solar energy that you may not have known about.
This page will provide you with the facts about these solar energy and solar power questions...
When it comes to renewable energy, solar is king. The Sun has been converting more than 4 million metric tons of Hydrogen into Helium every second for the past 4.5 billion years. Yet it will continue producing solar energy at this rate for another 5 billion years! For all practical purposes, this means we have an unlimited, renewable source of energy for us to use.
For more information see What is Solar Energy?
One of the other interesting facts about solar energy is that the amount of energy the Earth receives from the Sun each second is about 1367 Watts per square meter. However, by the time that energy travels through the Earth's atmosphere and taking into account the fact that the Earth is a sphere, the amount of solar energy that reaches the surface of the Earth is between 240 and 340 Watts per square meter, depending where on the Earth you are. But even at those reduced amounts, humans still only use a fraction of that energy.
For more information see Why Solar Energy is in Your Future
One of the most challenging problems with solar is energy storage. Since the Sun doesn't shine all of the time, if you don't store the energy produced by your solar panels, you must use it immediately or lose it. The solar power you produce can be stored in batteries, but they are very expensive. An incredibly affordable alternative is using net-metering. With net-metering, any excess power your system produces is "bought" by your utility company at the price you pay for electricity! You essentially use the power grid as your battery.
For more information see Net Metering
A Zero Energy Home (ZEH) is a home that produces at least as much energy as it uses. One of the key ways this is accomplished is by producing energy at the home site. Using solar panels to generate electricity and solar collectors to generate solar heat are two ways active solar energy can be used to produce energy for the home. The second way ZEH produce as much energy as they use is by decreasing their energy demand. Passive solar energy principles such as shading and home orientation can help here.
For more information see Zero Energy Homes
You may not realize it, but silicon, the same mineral you find in sand, is the primary component of a solar cell. Silicon also happens to be the second most common element in the earths crust. The silicon is used to create the semiconductor material that produces electricity when light is shined on it. This is the result of a process known as the photovoltaic effect.
For more information see Solar Cell
I hope you found these interesting facts about solar energy... well, interesting!
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