What Is Solar Power?
Solar power is an incredibly and dramatically important issue, and there are many important issues in regards to the matter of solar power. Solar power technologies use the sun’s energy and light to provide heat, light, hot water, electricity, and even cooling for such things as homes, businesses and industries. There are several primary solar technologies that are used, which include that of: photovoltaics, passive solar heating, concentrating solar power, and solar hot water and space heating and cooling.
Photovoltaics are solar cells which are used to directly convert sunlight into electricity. These solar power cells are made of semi conducting materials, and crystalline silicon is the leading commercial material for photovoltaic cells, which can be used in itself in many forms, including that of: single-crystalline or monocrystalline silicon, multicrystalline or polycrystalline silicon, ribbon and sheet silicon, and thin-layer silicon.
Passive solar power heating involves that of buildings which are designed for passive solar and daylighting incorporate design features such as that of south-facing windows and building materials that absorb and slowly release the sun’s heat. In passive solar heating, there are no mechanical means at all used, and passive solar designs can also include that of neutral ventilations for cooling.
The concentrating of solar power involves that of technologies which use reflective materials such as mirrors in order to concentrate the sun’s energy; this then concentrated form of energy is converted into electricity. Solar hot water heaters on the other hand, use the sun to either heat water or a heat-transfer fluid in collectors. A typical solar hot water and space heating and cooling system will reduce the need for conventional water heating by about two-thirds, which is obviously considered as being quite dramatic.
Solar power, besides providing heat and light, is also what causes the wind that we feel on Earth. This is because winds are created when various layers of that atmosphere absorb different amount of heat and therefore expand differently, thus creating regions of lower and higher pressure, which results in masses of air that circulate both at ground level as well as that of higher altitudes. Solar power is also responsible for fossil fuels such as that of petroleum and coal, as these substances are the result of large masses of decayed plant matter, which during their own lifetime, had absorbed solar energy.