Energy & Green Tech

Holistic view of planning energy self-sufficient communities

Sustainable communities supplied by local renewable energy production are beginning to be established in the U.S. By using energy-efficient buildings and distributing means of energy generation, such as solar panels, throughout ...

Energy & Green Tech

Floating power plants

Paper, tin cans, glass—the world recycles as much as possible. So why not declare the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) a recycling product as well? Liquid fuels based on carbon will continue to play an important role ...

Energy & Green Tech

Engineered bacteria could be missing link in energy storage

One of the big issues with sustainable energy systems is how to store electricity that's generated from wind, solar and waves. At present, no existing technology provides large-scale storage and energy retrieval for sustainable ...

Energy & Green Tech

Should we turn the Sahara Desert into a huge solar farm?

Whenever I visit the Sahara I am struck by how sunny and hot it is and how clear the sky can be. Aside from a few oases there is little vegetation, and most of the world's largest desert is covered with rocks, sand and sand ...

Energy & Green Tech

Record solar hydrogen production with concentrated sunlight

Hydrogen will play a key role in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. It can be sustainably produced by using solar energy to split water molecules. The resulting clean energy can be stored, used to fuel cars or converted ...

Energy & Green Tech

U.S. energy use rises to highest level ever

Americans used more energy in 2018 than in any other year, according to the most recent energy flow charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Overall total energy consumption rose to 101.2 quadrillion ...

Energy & Green Tech

Good news for rooftop solar, not for home batteries

The energy produced over the lifetime of typical rooftop solar panels more than makes up for the energy it takes to make, mount and then eventually recycle them. But adding a home battery usually lowers those dividends, according ...

Energy & Green Tech

Improving solar cell efficiency with a bucket of water

Looking at your cell phone, you realize the battery is low, which means you have to make another long walk into town to pay money to charge the device. By the time you get home, it's getting dark. You light the kerosene lamp ...

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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