California Solar Facts
The fact is that so much solar energy hits the U.S. that if we were to harness all of it for just 40 minutes, we would be able to power the entire country for a year. So if you decide to harness all that free energy out there, there are big-time benefits to be had, depending on the kind of solar generation system you use.
There are two basic types of system: active and passive. Each collects, converts and uses the sun's rays differently. Passive systems are typically found in buildings that use natural geography and the sun's position in the sky to circulate air and heat, but also use materials such as cement, stone and even water to store some of the sun's energy.
On the other hand, active systems are the kinds most homes will use when they choose to go solar. These use solar cells that concentrate direct sunlight and convert it into power that can be either used immediately or stored on batteries for when the sun isn't shining, either at night or just when it's cloudy.
Active generation systems are also what power solar vehicles like cars, but these systems are still mostly experimental and costly.
Plus, solar power can be used for more than just powering your home. You can also find systems that will disinfect water and even cook your food.
Currently, California is the nation's top solar state. Residents install and use more solar power every year, and many are doing so by taking advantage of low-cost systems, and defraying the price with government incentives.
Plus, while most Californians have seen their energy prices skyrocket in recent years, the price for solar technology is always coming down. That makes it more affordable all the time, and adding even more incentive to harness the sun's power and switch to clean, efficient solar energy.
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