Energy & Green Tech

New smart-roof coating enables year-round energy savings

Scientists have developed an all-season smart-roof coating that keeps homes warm during the winter and cool during the summer—without consuming natural gas or electricity. Research findings reported in the Dec. 17 edition ...

Robotics

New scavenger technology allows robots to 'eat' metal for energy

When electronics need their own power sources, there are two basic options: batteries and harvesters. Batteries store energy internally, but are therefore heavy and have a limited supply. Harvesters, such as solar panels, ...

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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