Solar Power: The Sunnier Alternative
By Courtney Han
While it may seem like an idea of the future, the practice of using solar energy to power everyday devices has become increasingly common. From automobiles to water heaters, solar energy has begun to revolutionize the way we live our everyday lives. But what exactly is solar power? And more importantly, why should we be using it? Read on for the answers to your questions.
What is solar energy?
According to solarhome.org, solar energy is power that comes from the sun. This energy is so powerful that it can meet the energy and power needs of the entire human population more than 8,500 times over.
How is solar energy used?
Solar panels, which are made up of many solar cells, collect energy from the sun and turn it into electricity. Solar water heaters are glass panels (solar collectors) installed on the roofs of buildings. Instead of light, they collect heat from the sun. Lastly, solar furnaces are sets of strategically places mirrors that angles the sun’s rays at one particular point, creating extreme amounts of heat that can be used for factory purposes, like melting steel.
What are the advantages of solar energy?
It’s good for the environment. According to electricityforum.com, regular electricity is made using generators that are powered by fossil fuels like coal. The use of these fuels release greenhouse gases that harm the ozone layer. Since the sun is the generator for solar energy, it does not require any raw materials to turn into electricity. It is also an inexhaustible energy source. Greenster.com states that the earth receives more energy from the sun in one hour than the population of the world uses in an entire year.
It saves money. While the installation of solar panels and other solar energy harvesting devices can be costly, solar energy will end up saving you a lot of money since sunlight is free. You can reduce or even eliminate your electric bill!
It’s low maintenance. With solar technology, you will never have to worry about power outages. Solar energy is retained in batteries so that electricity is available at all times.
How do solar panels work at night?
The idea of solar panels is that energy from the sun’s rays is collected and turned into electricity. So how doe solar panels work at night, when the sun is not out? Well, when solar panels are installed, a large battery is connected to the panels. This battery stores electricity from the sun which can be used at night, and also in power outages.
Where can I learn more about solar power?