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 ...

Energy & Green Tech

France to try again with solar road plan

French local authorities said Wednesday that a high-profile "solar highway" experiment in Normandy had failed, but vowed to try again with new panels on a shorter stretch of road.

Energy & Green Tech

20 overlooked benefits of distributed solar energy

A study released today provides the most complete list yet of the advantages of solar energy—from carbon sequestration to improvements for pollinator habitat. The paper offers a new framework for analyzing solar projects ...

Energy & Green Tech

Experiments show dramatic increase in solar cell output

In any conventional silicon-based solar cell, there is an absolute limit on overall efficiency, based partly on the fact that each photon of light can only knock loose a single electron, even if that photon carried twice ...

Energy & Green Tech

Solar energy could turn the Belt and Road Initiative green

The region covered by the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has significant potential to be powered by solar energy, researchers report June 27 in the journal Joule. Less than 4 percent of the maximum solar potential of the ...

Energy & Green Tech

Which climates are best for passive cooling technologies?

A group of University of California, San Diego researchers set out to gain a better understanding of the thermal balance of power plants and surfaces, like heliostat mirrors or solar panels, when exposed to both solar (shortwave) ...

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 ...

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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