What is Solar Energy?

The Sun is like a giant power station, making solar energy for us each and every day. Without this daily dose of solar power, Earth would not be even close to the same. Literally the difference would be like night and day.

The term solar energy is used to describe electromagnetic radiation released by the sun. This radiation is extremely important to the Earths biosphere, and is the source of our existence. It is the catalyst for life as we know it on our planet.

Electromagnetic radiation is composed of tiny invisible energy waves, all traveling at the speed of light (3×108 meters per second). Forms of electromagnetic radiation include X-rays, gamma waves, radio waves, microwaves, infrared waves, ultra-violet waves, and the visible light spectrum. The only difference between the waves is their frequency of resonance, and they are characterized based on this.

The Sun emits solar energy in the range of infrared, visible light, and ultra-violet wave lengths. Thank goodness for this, because if the Sun emitted solar energy as X-rays or Gamma rays, we would all be toast.

Solar energy is also the primary element that forms weather patterns. The Sun warms the surface of the earth, whereby wind patterns develop. Solar energy is absorbed in the oceans, and this helps form the currents. Evaporation caused by solar energy is what fundamentally leads to clouds and thunderstorms.

The mountains, plains, oceans, and lakes, they too absorb solar energy and convert it to heat. Gradually everything becomes warm and wind patterns develop. Glaciers melt and create rivers. Rain storms distribute water, fill up aquifers, and sustain forests and plant growth. Ocean currents are set in motion.

Each and every day we should all be giving thanks to the Sun. It may be the most important element to our existence which we take for granted. Imagine if one day we woke up and there was no Sun? It would be like losing power at your home, but a million times worse. Probably most people would fall into an immediate panic.

So if theres one thing for sure, as long as solar energy is here humans will be here. Solar energy is responsible for almost everything that surrounds us, in every form.

The modern age has brought us some new tools and technologies when dealing with solar energy. Now we can make electricity directly to power our homes. We can concentrate the solar energy and store it in thermal beds, or make hot water and steam.

The time has come now to discuss solar energy in different terms. Mankind has become clever these past few generations, and developed new methods to harness this energy. We now have ways to convert solar energy directly into electricity. And weve developed several new inventions for absorbing solar energy and making high temperature heat.

How much can we rely on these new technologies to power our daily needs? Does making power from solar energy really save in the long run? How difficult are solar energy systems to integrate, and what types of technologies are the best? We pondered these very questions ourselves, and decided to share some of the answers.

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Originally posted 2009-06-17 02:18:10.



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