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What is Solar Energy?

»Posted by on Jul 8, 2019 in Solar Services | 0 comments

The energy that comes from light and heat is called solar energy. This energy is among the most powerful of all as it can support life on the planet. It is also the sun that drives the weather and climate on Earth. Solar energy is classified as renewable energy.

Today’s technology has allowed people to find a way to utilize sunlight to power up homes, workplaces, and buildings. The applications of solar energy today are getting more and more diverse as modern technologies unfold. Even so, the ancient Greeks, Chinese, and Native Americans all knew how to use the power of the sun in many different ways.

How Solar Technology Has Changed the World

Today’s technology can harness the sun’s power to provide power for heating and lighting. Sunlight is now easily converted into electricity, mechanical, or thermal power, depending on what power source is required. The first known use of solar energy was in 1866 by Auguste Mouchout who designed a steam engine that is powered by sunlight.

Taking that as an inspiration, more innovations were seen, and the use of solar energy has been introduced to locomotion, refrigeration, and irrigation. Right now, there are a few power plants supply solar energy being constructed across the globe.

Breakthrough Technologies in Solar Energy

Solar power transmitted from photovoltaic cells was first introduced in 1954. These cells are capable of converting light into electric current. This is the breakthrough that practically changed how power can be generated.

From the first generation of solar panels in 1954, the newer ones were made more efficient, with the best ones having an efficiency rating of up to 15%. Right now, it is being studied how these cells can reach an efficiency level of 40%. Furthermore, the prices of solar panels have seen to have fallen. From an operating expense of $300 for every watt produced, it is now down to just $3 for each watt.

Classifications of Solar Energy

The use of solar energy is more rampant today than it was before. Solar energy is used to prepare food, heat up homes, and produce light. The different types of solar energy can be used for different applications and technologies. Solar energy can be classified into:

1. Active

An active solar system is the one that uses mechanical and electrical components, such as pumps, fans, and tracking mechanisms, among others. These mechanisms are used to enhance the output for use on heat, lighting, and electrical applications.

2. Passive

A passive solar system doesn’t use mechanical techniques to control, convert, or distribute sun to produce usable outputs. Instead, the focus is on the thermal property of the sun, which is used to design spaces that circulate the air naturally.

3. Direct

Direct solar applications are the technologies that directly convert sunlight into usable energy. Such applications are mostly seen in a laboratory setup.

4. Indirect

Indirect solar applications are the technologies that involve the use of devices that transforms sunlight into usable energy.

If you need more information about solar energy and how you can use it in your own home, simply visit solar energy company Livermore CA and you’ll be guided accordingly.

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