In order to protect the environment and break reliance on fossil fuels, alternative energy sources are constantly in development. Forces of nature such as wind and water are excellent choices. They are going to occur with or without humans. Why not harness their energy? One of the most efficient and long-lasting sources of energy is the sun. It won’t last forever but it will be there for a long, long time. The development of solar energy can solve a number of problems. Solar also has multiple applications.

The Daily Energy Allotment

As the Earth orbits the sun, it receives a large amount of energy in the form of solar radiation. These can be captured by industries as well as solar panels for home power all kinds of things. About 174 petawatts of solar energy reach the Earth’s upper atmosphere daily. Some of it reflects into space but 70% is absorbed by clouds, oceans, and land masses. It can also be pulled in by solar panels and put to good use.

Producing Electricity

One of the most amazing things about the sun’s energy is that it can be used to generate electricity. Using either photovoltaics, concentrated solar power, or both, sunlight can provide electricity.

The photovoltaic effect uses semiconductors that are exposed unevenly to the sun’s rays. This process produces an electrical current. A photovoltaic system can provide electricity to a single home or building or an entire grid. These systems were developed in the 1990s and have become very popular.

Concentrated solar power is an effective way to generate electricity at a power plant. It focuses large amounts of sunlight into a narrow beam using lenses and mirrors. This creates a heat source that can boil water to create steam to power a generator turbine.

Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation

HVAC systems perform the important function of creating comfortable indoor environments in any kind of weather. These systems use 30% of the energy employed in commercial buildings and almost 50% in residential structures in the U.S. Solar energy can be used for heating and significantly reduce the amount of energy necessary. This saves money and the use of other fuels. This can be accomplished using either passive or active solar concepts both of which work effectively.

Cooking

Cooking is, of course, an important function of daily living. Gas and electric stoves both use considerable energy and increase utility bills. There are solar cookers that can prepare food using sunlight. Box cookers are the simplest type and the first was built in 1767. More recent inventions include the panel cooker and reflector cooker. These types require direct sunlight to operate but can reach much higher temperatures than box cookers and so are more useful. As time goes by, new solar cookers will be developed that are more efficient and versatile.

Alternative energy sources are essential for conservation and protecting the environment. One of the best of these sources is solar power. As the cost of solar panels continues to drop and the benefits of solar energy become more well-known, even energy providers are now affording solar energy with different rates and plans.If you’re looking for an electricity provider that offers solar plans, you can use Power to Choose Texas to compare your options. It’s efficient, versatile, and uses the biggest source of energy in the solar system.

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