Solar energy uses the sun to power it; it is a huge and never-ending resource that will never be used up.
STEP 1 the sun produces radiant energy by taking in hydrogen in nuclear fusion reactions. Solar energy is sent to the earth in sections of energy called photons. It takes about 8 minutes and 20 seconds for the sun's energy to reach the earth.
the Earth STEP 2 receives and collects solar energy in the atmosphere, oceans, and plant life. Interactions between the sun's energy, the oceans and the atmosphere for example, create winds, which can make electricity when sent through wind machines.
STEP 3 Solar photovoltaic cells convert solar radiation into electricity, individual cells are packed into modules, groups of modules are called arrays. Photovoltaic arrays act like a battery when the sun is shining, producing a stream of direct current electricity and sending it to the grid. Photovoltaiclight energy "photo" = light "voltaic" = energy
STEP 4 everyone! Everyone enjoys the benefits of solar electric energy without having to worry about it. The home owners also benefit by having a portion of their electrical needs met by solar power, resulting in lower monthly electric bills
What can solar energy be used for? When solar energy is converted to thermal energy it can be used for: Heat water — for use in homes, buildings, or swimming pools Heat spaces — inside homes, greenhouses, and other buildings Heat fluids — to high temperatures to operate a turbine to generate electricity
Solar energy can be converted to electricity in two ways: -Photovoltaic (PV devices) or “solar cells” change sunlight directly into electricity. Individual PV cells are grouped into panels and groups of panels that can be used in a wide range of applications ranging from single small cells that charge phones and computers, to systems that power homes, to large power plants. -Concentrating Solar Power Plants generate electricity by using the heat from solar thermal collectors to heat a fluid which produces steam that is used to power the generator.