Solar Power – A Beginners Guide

The sun is the greatest of source of energy in out small solar system, and as the fossil fuels we greedily consume gradually run out we need to consider alternative sources to fill the hole these dwindling resources are leaving. And one alternative that shows great potential is Solar Power. Since we discovered the science of photovoltaics, ingenious engineers and entrepreneurs have managed to turn the sun’s rays into usable energy to power all types of appliances, from water heaters, light bulbs, garden lights and even cars. Could solar energy be the answer to our global environmental problem and fuel shortage? We certainly hope so. Combined with other renewable alternative sources of energy, the use of solar power could just be our key to a brighter, less fossil fuel-reliant future.

Solar power is simply the utilization of the sun’s radiation into heat or electricity. And in recent years, the use of solar power as an alternative source of energy has become more popular than ever. With our increased care in the environment coupled with the rising prices and dwindling supply of fossil fuel, the industry behind solar power is growing faster than ever. Technology has also made the sun useful in more ways than we thought possible.

How does solar power work?

The process involved is quite simple. Solar energy works by converting the sun’s rays into heat using solar thermal collectors for heating water, and solar panels to supply power to the appliances in a home. With solar collectors, heat is captured from the sun in glass tubes, which then heat the water. With solar panels, radiation is retrieved and collected from the sun.
When the sun’s rays hit the solar panels, they are absorbed by semiconductors such as silicon (the material solar panels are typically made of.) The process causes electrons to be knocked off from their atoms, allowing them to flow through the material, thus generating electricity.

Solar power homes

If you are looking for a way to reduce your electricity bill while saving the world at the same time, powering your home with solar energy just might be the answer. A solar powered home is simply one that uses a photovoltaic solar power system to supply power to the home. Normally, the method involves placing the system on the roof facing the south to maximize the exposure to daylight. Most of the time, the total energy requirement of a home can be supplied using the photovoltaic structure though most owners prefer to supplement conventional electricity with solar power.

Solar powered homes hold several advantages. Not only do you help conserve the planet’s dwindling supply of fossil fuel and natural gas, your wallet also benefits from a reduction in energy costs. Despite the substantial initial investment, going solar will definitely give you the best deal for your dollars in the long run. This is something a kitchen remodeling or a plasma screen just won’t do.

Solar powered cars

With the restrictively high price of gasoline and the toxic emissions automobiles churn out into the atmosphere, even cars are going solar. Solar powered cars are not a thing of the future. In fact, they just might go mainstream in the next few years. So just how does a powerful car engine run on sunlight? Simple. A barrage of solar cells transform the sun’s heat and light directly into electrical energy which powers the car. Solar powered cars are often made with unbelievably curious shapes as designers want to lessen the drag factor, maximize full exposure to the sun, decrease the weight, while maintaining safety and function.

Government and automobile manufacturers have realized the potential of solar cars and hold races each year to create the best and fastest design. Usually entered by university students, racers and developers show-off their engineering and design skills by building and running their very own solar car.

Solar power kits

And now, wiring your house for solar power comes in a box. And all you need to do is purchase a solar panel kit. Everything you need to get started is right here: solar panels, pre-wired modules, a battery pack and the all-important instructions. Unleash the handyman in you and install your own solar panels without needing to hire expensive professionals and electricians. Though not quite made for beginners, a kit is great for the experienced do-it-yourselfers. Not only does powering your home with solar energy drastically reduce your household’s electricity bill, a solar kit becomes incredibly handy in the event of power failures.

Solar energy is free of charge and the supply is infinite. Our planet’s greatest heat source leaves much to be untapped. Whether you want to save some dollars or do something for the environment, now just might be the time to make the switch to solar.

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