What Is Solar Energy?

December 16, 2021

Green and renewable energy sources are becoming more prominent and viable every year. This is due in part to better technology becoming available as well as people becoming more environmentally conscious. It also helps that many governments are offering tax credits or rebates for people who implement solar energy in their homes.

With more people using solar energy and interest in the technology growing, it would be helpful to know and understand what exactly solar energy is and how it works.

This article will cover both of those topics with some top FAQs on the subject.

What is solar energy?

Solar energy is the process of harnessing the sun’s energy and converting it into energy that can be used in the power grid. It’s a renewable type of energy that can be used for many different applications and at various scales.

So, the sun creates energy?

Yes. Like many stars, a process termed nuclear fusion occurs within the sun that causes the release of radiant energy. Nuclear fusion occurs because there are extremely-high temperatures and pressure within the sun’s core. This causes nuclei to break free from their electrons. Hydrogen nuclei then fuse together to create one helium atom. It is through this fusion process that heat and energy are ultimately generated.

How does the energy from a distant star become usable in the power grid?

There are two main ways of converting the sun’s electromagnetic radiation into electrical current that can power electronic devices: photovoltaics and concentrating solar-thermal power. Photovoltaics is the most common method and is used in most solar panels. Each solar panel contains photovoltaic cells that absorb energy from the sun’s light. That energy forms electrical charges that then respond to an internal electrical field within the solar cell. This process causes electricity to flow.

Concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) systems are a bit different. They utilize a system of mirrors to reflect and amplify sunlight onto special receivers which catch that solar energy and transform it into heat. That heat can be used immediately to create electricity or can be stored to be used later. CSP is often used at massive scales like powering giant power plants.

What can solar power be used for?

Basically, anything that needs electricity. It can power your home or heat your home. It can also be used to heat water or ventilate your home. Solar attic fans run on solar power and operate independently of your home’s HVAC system. They can pull superheated air out of your home, allowing cooler air to take its place.

Solar power has been used for exterior lighting for many years now. It can also be used on the go, as portable solar power systems have been developed to charge watches or even phones.

What does the future hold for solar energy?

With the twin rise of electric vehicles and solar energy, it has long seemed that a solar-powered vehicle was inevitable. Multiple solar-powered cars are currently being developed. One example is the Sion from Sono Motors. It’s an electric car that claims to have a range of 305 kilometers and can charge itself through solar power.

Call for your solar energy solution today

If you’re interested in solar energy, call us at Aneva Solar. We offer a wide variety of high-quality solar-powered solutions at competitive prices.

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