How Does Solar Energy Work?

how does solar energy work?



How does solar energy work? It's a common question. After all, it is a bit of a mystery to see the sun shining down on shiny solar panels and get electricity out of the other end.

Figuring out how it works helps some people make the decision to convert solar energy. Here are some basic facts about solar energy for you to ponder.

Humans have learned to harness the power of the sun using a couple of modern technologies. The solar thermal method collects heat generated by the sun and transfers the heat into internal spaces.

how does solar energy work?

Water heating is a common use of this method. It is also effective for heating interior spaces as well. The panels that use this method contain tubing through which water flows. Some systems use an anti-freeze liquid instead of water. In both cases, the fluids run through the panels and heat up with the sun's energy. These liquids then flow out of the panels into the home. The heated tubing is great for heating water or air inside. So there is one answer to the question of how does solar energy work.

The other modern technology humans use to harness the power of the sun is photovoltaic. This method converts the sun's rays into electricity. Each panel in the system contains a number of interlocking solar cells made of silicon. As the sun hits each of the solar cells, electrons within the silicon material began to move. This movement generates electricity. It exits the solar panel as direct current energy.

Since most homes use alternate currents, the direct current energy runs through an inverter that creates a 120 V alternating current. While a small portion of energy dissipates during the conversion process, a great deal of it is available for household use at that point. That is another answer to the question of how does solar energy work.

how does solar energy work?

There are also other ways to get solar energy.

  • Plants convert sunlight through photosynthesis.
  • You can direct a beam of sun through a magnifying glass and create a great deal of heat at one point.
  • You can collect the heat of the sun in certain materials of which you build your home.

All of this gives you the power to harness solar energy without the use of either of the modern technologies. Solar energy has been around as long as man has. It is up to man to figure out the best way to harness that energy. Next time, you ask "how does solar energy work?", go to Mother Nature for an answer.

More Info:

Solar Energy Diagram
How is Solar Energy Used?


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