Energy & Green Tech

Community systems offer alternative paths for solar growth

Strolling his church's rooftop among 630 solar panels, Bishop Richard Howell Jr. acknowledged climate change isn't the most pressing concern for his predominantly Black congregation—even though it disproportionately harms ...

Energy & Green Tech

An ironclad future for solar arrays

Solar energy plays an important role in the fight against climate change as a substitute for fossil fuels. Dye-sensitized solar cells promise to be a low-cost supplement to the photovoltaic systems we know today. Their key ...

Energy & Green Tech

Bees, sheep, crops: Solar developers tout multiple benefits

Silflower was among native plants that blanketed the vast North American prairie until settlers developed farms and cities. Nowadays confined largely to roadsides and ditches, the long-stemmed cousin of the sunflower may ...

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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