Energy & Green Tech

The long road to clean energy

The vital transition to a zero-carbon economy is likely to be a long and rocky road. So-called green energy is booming, but not fast enough to curb climate change, which is accelerating at an alarming pace as oil, gas and ...

Energy & Green Tech

Solar array feeds railway route in the UK

How well is the UK doing to seal a future of solar powered trains? Will connecting solar power directly to rail networks help meet a good enough share of electricity needs? Eyes are on a pilot scheme going on now and it ...

Energy & Green Tech

How to have an all-renewable electric grid

The main solution to climate change is well known—stop burning fossil fuels. How to do this is more complicated, but as a scholar who does energy modeling, I and others see the outlines of a post-fossil-fuel future: We ...

Energy & Green Tech

California's rooftop-solar boom leaves equity gap

California leads the nation in the adoption of rooftop solar systems, but information on which communities do, and do not, benefit from these installations has been limited to broad income classifications and anecdotal observations. ...

Energy & Green Tech

New Michael Moore-backed doc tackles alternative energy

What if alternative energy isn't all it's cracked up to be? That's the provocative question explored in the documentary "Planet of the Humans," which is backed and promoted by filmmaker Michael Moore and directed by one of ...

Energy & Green Tech

Fold-out energy tower for festivals is ready for practical use

Almost all festivals in Europe use polluting diesel generators as their power supply. As a sustainable alternative, TU/e researchers and 9 companies have developed a 21-meter high fold-out tower with solar collectors and ...

Energy & Green Tech

Solar energy becomes biofuel without solar cells

Soon we will be able to replace fossil fuels with a carbon-neutral product created from solar energy, carbon dioxide and water. Researchers at Uppsala University have successfully produced microorganisms that can efficiently ...

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Solar energy

Solar energy is the radiant light and heat from the Sun that has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation along with secondary solar resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass account for most of the available renewable energy on Earth. Only a minuscule fraction of the available solar energy is used.

Solar power provides electrical generation by means of heat engines or photovoltaics. Once converted, its uses are limited only by human ingenuity. A partial list of solar applications includes space heating and cooling through solar architecture, potable water via distillation and disinfection, daylighting, hot water, thermal energy for cooking, and high temperature process heat for industrial purposes.

Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute sunlight. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors (with electrical or mechanical equipment) to convert sunlight into useful outputs. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA