Sun Rays and Solar Energy
Sun rays are what make solar energy possible.
We use solar panels (made of solar cells) to collect and convert
the energy radiating from the sun into usable electricity for our homes,
offices, and even entire towns and cities.
The free, alternative energy that is available via the sun’s rays is
abundant to say the least.
solar power facts:
Solar Panels mounted on your roof
The Earth receives 174 petawatts (PW) of
incoming solar radiation
The total solar energy absorbed by Earth's
atmosphere, oceans and land masses is approximately 3,850,000 exajoules (EJ)
The earth can absorb as much as a year’s worth
of potential solar electric energy in just one hour
In one year’s time the amount of energy coming
from sun rays is double the amount of energy we can EVER get out of a
nonrenewable energy source, such as coal or oil.
to convert Sun Rays into Electricity
- Solar panels convert
the sun’s rays into usable electricity
- A power converter is used to turn the
solar power into home electricity
- A Racking system is used for the solar
panels (such as for your roof or a ground mount)
- Electrical interconnections are made
between the devices using wires
- Other mounting gear may be needed
impact of using Solar Power
Sun Rays lessen our dependence on coal and oil
Solar power as an alternative energy emits zero
Creates jobs for the locals
Does no harm to the habitation of the local plant
and animal life
Solar Power Facts
- Solar energy has influenced building designs
since humans could build
- Solar architecture and urban planning methods
were first employed by the Greeks and Chinese, who oriented their buildings
toward the south to provide light and warmth
- Agriculture and horticulture seek to optimize
the capture of solar energy in order to optimize the productivity of plants
- Greenhouses convert solar light to heat,
enabling year-round production and the growth (in enclosed environments) of
specialty crops and other plants not naturally suited to the local climate
- Development of a solar powered car has been an
engineering goal since the 1980s.
- The World Solar Challenge is a biannual
solar-powered car race, where teams from universities and enterprises compete
over 1,877 miles across central Australia from Darwin to
Adelaide. In 1987, when it was founded, the winner's average speed was 42 miles per hour, and by 2007 the winner's average speed had
improved to 56 miles per hour.
- The North
American Solar Challenge and the South African Solar Challenge are competitions that reflect the international interest in the
engineering and development of solar powered vehicles
- Some vehicles use solar panels for auxiliary power,
such as for air conditioning, to keep the interior cool, thus reducing fuel
- In 1975, the first practical solar boat was
constructed in England
- By 1995, passenger boats incorporating PV panels
began appearing and are now used extensively
- In 1996, Kenichi Horie made the first solar
powered crossing of the Pacific Ocean
- The sun21 catamaran made the first solar powered
crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in the winter of 2006–2007
- In 1974, the unmanned AstroFlight Sunrise plane
made the first solar flight
On 29 April 1979, the Solar Riser made the first
flight in a solar powered, fully controlled, man carrying flying machine,
reaching an altitude of 40 feet
- In 1980, the Gossamer Penguin made the first
piloted flights powered solely by photovoltaics
- This was quickly followed by the Solar
Challenger which crossed the English Channel in July 1981
In 1990 Eric Scott Raymond in 21 hops flew from
California to North Carolina using solar power
Clearly, solar rays are an alternative energy that humans
have been putting to good use for all of our history.
But, now that we have the ability to destroy
our planet via coal production, nuclear production, and crude oil production,
solar energy has never been more important.
Solar power via sun rays is going to be a major contributor to the
success of the human species.
That is why so many efforts are being made world wide to increase the benefits of turning to solar energy.
Things like feed-in tariffs
and tax breaks are helping to fuel the expansion of this growing
And, unlike coal and oil companies, solar energy and wind power companies
care about the environment.
When so many companies are competing with
each other to make products that can only help the environment everybody
is a winner.
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