# is solar power different from solar energy?

i need to do a project on somesort of energy and decided to do solar energy, i wanted to do how solar energy is used to create electricity and power home however thats pretty much solar power, would solar power still fit in to energy, would doing a project on solar power as an energy project be ok or are they too far apart from eachother?

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power and energy are related to each other by the equation:

P = E / T

Where:

P = power

E = energy

T = time

So the amount of power you are using is the amount of energy you use divided by the time it takes to use it in. In other words, power is how fast the energy is coming in. You can rearrange that equation for energy and get:

E = P * T

Energy is the amount of power your using multiplied by the amount of time you're using it for. If you use 1 kilowatt of power for 1 hour, that's 1 kilowatt hour (kwh) of energy. kwh is the unit of energy the electric company uses when they bill you.

so yes, solar energy and solar power refer to the same thing, which is converting photons from the sun into electricity.

Hey Guitar Man, you've opened a can of worms on this one, I'll explain. Bloodletter and Crazines are both quite right, for different reasons. The formula for Power is Energy times Time, you can find that in lots of engineering text books. So technically the terms are not interchangeable, but they do refer to the same thing in your case. The other side of it is that these are terms technicians use both in theory and in the field. We have a house that is powered by a solar array in the Upper Midwest. When I started researching all this almost 12 years ago, I had the same problem with terms. In the renewable energy field, "Solar Energy," is a term that describes exactly that, how much energy is streaming in from the sun. You can feel it as heat when it strikes your skin. You can also convert it to heat to heat water, air, or some other medium, and you can convert it to electricity using a photovoltaic, or solar panel. Once this conversion is done however, it is no longer considered solar energy. It might be heat energy if you are heating water, or electrical energy if you are running a light bulb, or even chemical energy if you are charging a battery. But to make things easier to understand, most technicians refer to any of these energys that are originally made from solar energy as, "Solar Power." This way it is easier to keep separate from other power sources, like natural gas, utility electricity, or even firewood in discussions. It is power derived from solar energy. Our home gets most of its electricity from our solar array, but can be switched over to the grid if there is a shortage, or mechanical problem. When we switch back and forth, we refer to the power as being, "Solar Power," or, "Utility Power." Again, these are not terms you will find in an engineering text book, but most everyone you say it too understands the difference, that's why we use them, for clarity.

I'll list some non profit groups below that you can look up online if you want to try to learn more, but it might not be easy to get an exact source for your school work at any of them. Maybe one of them will have a search engine at their website that can direct you to an explanation you can quote in your work.

I like your handle by the way, Gibsons are great. Do you know if they are still manufacturing guitars in Kalamazoo? Good luck with your school project, and take care.

Source(s): Midwest Renewable Energy Association Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association Solar Energy International Home Power Magazine
• Anonymous

Solar power means converting of the sun's rays to electricity while in the other hand solar energy is a more generic term that means any technology that converts the sun's energy. Thus, solar power is included in this category – sun energy.

I think you really need to ask your teacher to make sure. Remember the definitions of power and energy. Energy is the ability to do work. Power is the rate at which work is done. I think you are really talking about energy in your question, and how energy from the sun is converted to electrical energy.

You need to decide on the scope of your project, i.e. how many topics will you try to cover. Electrical power only, electrical and heating/cooling, etc. If you choose electrical power, there are various methods of converting solar radiation to electricity, do you want to address one method or more than one?

• Anonymous

solar power (electricity) is made from solar energy (which comes to us in the form of sunlight)

solar power is created when solar cells are struck by sunlight. these cells absorb sunlight and convert it to electricity through the photo-electric (or the photo-voltaic effect). what actually happens is that photons in these solar cells bump into electrons when they are hit by light. an electrical conductor then captures these electrons and completes a circuit, thus creating solar power!

your project seems fine. it'll be exciting coz there are loads of things u can do it it.

• 4 years ago

Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly using concentrated solar power (CSP).

Solar energy is radiant light and heat from the Sun that is harnessed using a range of ever-evolving technologies such as solar heating, photovoltaics, solar thermal energy, solar architecture and artificial photosynthesis.

• Anonymous

• Ned
Lv 4

solar energy is much broader term that involves solar power, while solar power mainly refers to gaining electricity from the sun.