what is solar energy?

give information on solar energy as a source of energy

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  • 1 decade ago
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    SOLAR ENERGY - is used to describe a methods of harnessing energy from the light of the Sun

    Solar thermal energy can be used to heat a fluid to high temperatures and use it to produce electric power.

    A Solar updraft tower is a relatively low tech solar thermal power plant where air passes under a very large agricultural glass house, is heated by the sun and channeled upwards towards a convection tower. It then rises naturally and is used to drive turbines, which generate electricity.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Solar energy is just what it sounds like. Energy created by the sun. It is a nuclear process at the core, and the effects of the reaction are felt here on Earth.

    What you're probably asking about is what we use here on Earth.

    There is a compound (I think it is a silicone) that creates electricity when excited by solar radiation, and we have harvested it with what we call "solar cells" to create usable electricity.

    It is a renewable and nearly endless supply of energy. However, It doesn't work very well when the sun isn't out, such as at night or on cloudy days. There aren't many good "electricity storage systems" that make up the difference.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It's the heat that comes from the sun. We refer to solar energy as the part we can capture either by catching rays at the beach or using solar panels to convert the heat into electricity.

    If you go to Home Depot (et al) you can find solar powered lamps for your garden. If you look on line, you can get big solar panels to heat the water in your house (better in sunny areas).

    People care about solar energy because it pours down on us most every day while other energy sources could be in short supply.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Solar energy from the sun can be gathered either actively or passively. Active solar is gathered through solar panels and actively coverted into energy using mechanical means. Passive solar is how the sun heats a greenhouse. It hits glass panels, or other materials, directly and causes them to heat up. It's also the reason you don't want to sit down in a car with black seats when you're wearing shorts.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Solar Technologies

    Photovoltaics (PV)

    Photovoltaic solar cells, which directly convert sunlight into electricity, are made of semiconducting materials. The simplest cells power watches and calculators and the like, while more complex systems can light houses and provide power to the electric grid.

    Passive Solar Heating, Cooling and Daylighting

    Buildings designed for passive solar and daylighting incorporate design features such as large south-facing windows and building materials that absorb and slowly release the sun's heat. No mechanical means are employed in passive solar heating. Incorporating passive solar designs can reduce heating bills as much as 50 percent. Passive solar designs can also include natural ventilation for cooling.

    Concentrating Solar Power

    Concentrating solar power technologies use reflective materials such as mirrors to concentrate the sun's energy. This concentrated heat energy is then converted into electricity.

    Solar Hot Water and Space Heating and Cooling

    Solar hot water heaters use the sun to heat either water or a heat-transfer fluid in collectors. A typical system will reduce the need for conventional water heating by about two-thirds. High-temperature solar water heaters can provide energy-efficient hot water and hot water heat for large commercial and industrial facilities.

    Issues

    Solar Resources

    Solar resource information provides data on how much solar energy is available to a collector and how it might vary from month to month, year to year, and location to location. Collecting this information requires a national network of solar radiation monitoring sites.

    Solar Access

    The availability or access to unobstructed sunlight for use both in passive solar designs and active systems is protected by zoning laws and ordinances in many communities.

    Green Power

    Consumer demand for clean renewable energy and the deregulation of the utilities industry have spurred growth in green power—solar, wind, geothermal steam, biomass, and small-scale hydroelectric sources of power. Small commercial solar power plants have begun serving some energy markets.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    radiation from the Sun capable of producing heat, causing chemical reactions, or generating electricity. The Sun is an extremely powerful energy source, and solar radiation is by far the largest source of energy received by the Earth, but its intensity at the Earth's surface is actually quite low. This is partly because the Earth's atmosphere and its clouds absorb or scatter as much as 54 percent of all incoming sunlight. Despite this, in the 20th century solar energy became increasingly attractive as an energy source owing to its inexhaustible supply and its nonpolluting character, which are in stark contrast to such fossil-fuel sources as coal, oil, and natural gas.

    The sunlight that reaches the ground consists of nearly 50 percent visible light, 45 percent infrared radiation, and smaller amounts of ultraviolet light and other forms of electromagnetic radiation. This radiation can be converted either into thermal energy (heat) or into electrical energy, though the former is easier to accomplish. Two main types of devices are used to capture solar energy and convert it to thermal energy: flat-plate collectors and concentrating collectors. Because the intensity of solar radiation at the Earth's surface is so low, both types of collectors must be large in area. Even in sunny parts of the world's temperate regions, for instance, a collector must have a surface area of about 430 square feet (40 square m) to gather enough energy to serve one person for one day.

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  • 4 years ago

    Solar energy is clean and free energy. It can converted into heat energy and electric enengy.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Solar energy is the photon that comes from sun. Solar cell converts the photon to electricity.

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  • 4 years ago

    solar energy can be converted into heat energy and electric energy by using solar panels and solar vacuum tube,and then heat energy and electric energy provide energy for appliance use.

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  • 1 decade ago

    when a photon ( a particule of light, to make it simple) emitted by the sun hit the solar cell, it is turn into an electron which create an electrical current.

    The cell is made of silicium, silicone is for breats implants, and it works no matter the heat. Of course when it's cloudy you get less electricity but it can be -20°C outside and sunny and you still get your electricity

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