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. 

Consider some 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) per year
  •          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.

How 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

Ecological impact of using Solar Power

  •          Sun Rays lessen our dependence on coal and oil
  •          Solar power as an alternative energy emits zero pollutants
  •          Creates jobs for the locals
  •          Does no harm to the habitation of the local plant and animal life


Interesting 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 consumption
  • 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 industry.

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.

Related Articles:

Free Solar Panels Via the Feed-in Tariff?

The Alternative Future: Renewable Energy for a sustainable Tomorrow

Save Money with a Solar Hot Water Heater

Solar Electric Panels and the Future

Going Off Grid Increases Your Independence and Confidence

Photovoltaic Cells and their Many Different Applications

Learn What a Photovoltaic System Is and Save Yourself Some Money

Photovoltaic System News

Photovoltaics Help the Planet and Your Wallet

Solar Cells: Convert the Sun's Rays into Energy!

Solar Hot Water Heater: Tax Incentives For Living a Sustainable Life

Thin Film Solar Panel Technology

The Top Producers of Solar Panels

Solar Water Heating Pros and Cons

Sun Rays=Solar Energy

Solar Energy Systems and How they Can Help You

Sustainable Living With Solar Energy

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