Get the Facts on Residential Solar Energy!
In today’s world of ever-increasing energy costs, many people are looking for a more affordable alternative to gas or electric power. More and more people are turning toward natural sources of energy to power their homes, including solar, hydroelectricity, water and wind energy. Solar energy is energy provided from the light and heat of the sun and has been harnessed by people since the dawn of time. Solar radiation accounts for the most available, renewable energy on earth, and is also one of the most affordable. Energy powered by the sun relies on heat engines and can provide you with numerous services, including heating, cooling, hot water, solar cooking, and many more.
The most common way to harvest solar energy is through the use of solar panels. A solar panel is a packaged, interconnected collection of solar cells that can be used to generate and supply electricity in commercial and residential facilities. The panels use light energy from the sun to create electricity to power your home or business.
Solar technologies can be separated into two categories; active solar and passive solar, depending on the way they harness, convert and use the solar energy. Active solar techniques use thermal collectors and photovoltaic panels, which generates electrical power by converting solar radiation into direct currents of electricity through semiconductors, to harness energy. Passive solar techniques include designing equipment that naturally circulate air, using light dispersing properties and using the sun as a point of reference on where to place a building. Common features of buildings that use passive solar techniques include compact proportions, thermal mass, and selective shading. Thermal mass includes any material that can be used to store heat. Common thermal mass items include water, stone, and cement.
Solar energy can be used to provide a number of different services to your home. It can be used to disinfect water, cook and prepare food, heat, and even cool. Solar cookers harness the sun’s energy for cooking, drying and pasteurization. They can be grouped into three different categories including box cookers, panel cookers, and reflector cookers.
People also use the power of the sun to propel cars, boats, and airplanes. The world Solar Challenge is a bi-annual solar-powered car race that has been in the works since 1987. As you can see, solar power can help you heat your home, cook, and even assists in transportation, and all at a lower cost than other energy sources.