ENERGY OF THE SUN FACTS
Earth’s Picky Atmosphere
Earth’s atmosphere might seem picky at times. From the energy that Earth gets from the Sun, we reject 34% of it back into the space. This happens because clouds, ice, and snow simply reflect the light. This reflective quality is called “albedo.”
Environmentally Friendly Energy
Solar energy does not produce waste or pollute the atmosphere, so it is ecologically acceptable. If implemented on a global scale, the use of this energy source can improve the environmental quality damaged by the use of fossil fuels. It is time to think about our descendants and leave the planet in a good shape for them to use.
Solar energy is a good option when deciding about the energy sources to use because of its reliability. The Sun provides us with light on an everyday basis, all year round. That is the very energy that sustains our lives as well as keeping the Earth’s natural processes going.
The Future of Energy
It is estimated that by 2025, utility-scale solar power will become cost-competitive with natural gas. The potential of using this energy source is great because it is nearly inexhaustible. Granted, the Sun will wear out in about 4.5 billion years, but, hopefully, until then a new power source will be invented.
As the old adage goes, “Sun shines on good and bad people alike.” We get solar energy for free, therefore the only cost involved in utilizing this power source is the cost for the technology to transform and store this energy. As a result, after the initial investment, the cost of operating is much lower compared to all the other energy sources, like fossil fuels.
Using Sun’s Energy in Space
Since 1958, solar energy was used to power spaceships on space missions. Such stations like the International Space Station (ISS) often use solar energy to generate power. It is only logical to do this, because in the outer space, the sunlight comes unfiltered and even more potent.
Using Solar Panels
The light produced by the Sun can be converted into electricity using solar panels. These panels are called “photovoltaic.” This stored energy can then be used to power the appliances at home. Biomass energy is also conserved in organic materials such as wood, grains, and peat. Wood and peat can be burned to release the heat while grains can be fermented into ethanol and used as fuel.
Transforming the Energy
One of the main advantages of the solar energy is that is can be transformed into other forms of energy: thermal, chemical, electric, mechanical, and other. For example, plants use Sun’s energy to grow, transforming it into fuel that allows animals to live and grow.
When Was Solar Energy First Used?
People were using solar energy for quite some time now. Over 2,700 years ago, people began to harness the power of our star. Back in 700 B.C., glass lenses were utilized in order to make fire by magnifying the rays of the Sun.
How Much Energy Do We Get?
Not all Sun’s energy come to Earth. It is a good thing, and it is a bad thing. Bad thing because we could use more of it. Nevertheless, it is also a good thing because life on Earth might not have been possible if the Sun was more massive and brighter. The energy of the Sun is emitted in all directions and only a small fraction – half-billionth part of it – is directed at us.
How Does Sun Produce Energy?
Our Sun produces energy just like any other stars of the main sequence. It is done through thermonuclear reaction of fusion of hydrogen into helium. Every second, the Sun fuses 620 million metric tons of hydrogen! On Earth, we are also lucky, because the Sun is in the top 5% of the stars in the Milky Way when it comes to brightness and size.
When Was the First Solar Energy Collector Used?
British astronomer John Herschel used a solar thermal collector box. This device helped him cook food during an expedition to Africa in the 1830s. A solar thermal collector box absorbs sunlight to collect heat that can be used later for various purposes.
How Is Solar Energy Collected?
The solar energy power plant in Mojave uses so-called parabolic troughs. A parabolic trough collector has a long parabolic-shaped reflector that focuses the sun’s rays on a receiver pipe located at the focus of the parabola. When the Sun moves, the collector tilts as well so it can collect the energy throughout the day.
Solar Energy in Nevada
An Air Force base in Nevada has switched from using traditional energy sources to solar energy produced on site. This helped them save over $83,000 a month! While this is a large-scale project, implementing solar panels at home is also a very useful idea and a good investment.
Where is the Largest Power Plant?
The largest solar power plant in the world is located in the Kramer Junction, Mojave Desert, USA. It is so huge that it covers 1,000 acres! This facility has been operated since the 1980s and is responsible for the majority of solar electricity produced today by the electric power sector. Altogether, there are 12 solar energy power plants in the USA: one is located in Nevada and 11 are in California.
Posted on December 4, 2013, in ARTICLES, IMAGES and tagged article, atmosphere, earth, energie, energy, facts, future, images, knowledge, photos, pictures, Power station, produce energy, read, solar, solar energy, Solar panel, solar panels, Solar power, sun, transforming, wisdom. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.