What is Solar Power?
Solar Power is the conversion of
sunlight into electricity.
It directly uses photovoltaics
(PV) or indirectly uses
Concentrated Solar Power
CSP uses lenses, mirrors and
tracking systems to focus a
large area of sunlight into a
CSP's were first developed in
The concentrated heat from a CSP is
used as a heat source for most
PV's were invented to be used for
small and medium sized
applications and still are.
Some examples of PV's are
calculators, microwaves, and radios.
PV's are an important and
inexpensive source of electrical
PV's covert sunlight into currents by
using the photoelectric effect.
How Solar Power Works
Solar panels convert the sun's
energy into electricity.
Then a controlled device
converts the electricity so it is
able to power electrical items in
The electricity then passes
through a breaker box which
distributes the electricity into
Then all items plugged into
electrical outlets have power.
1767- The first solar collector was created by a Swiss scientist
named Horace-Benedict de Saussure.
1839- A French scientist named Edmond Becquerel discovered
Photovoltaics which was a huge milestone at the time.
1916- The scientist Robert Millikan found experimental evidence on
the photoelectric effect.
1947- Solar Power started to become more popular in the USA after
the Second World War. There was a huge demand for Solar Power
from the people.
1958- Solar Power was used in space to power things such as
satellites and space stations.
1981- Paul Macready made the
first solar powered aircraft. The
aircraft flew from France to
1982- The first solar powered car
was made in Australia.
1999- The largest Solar Power
plant was made at its time
producing more than 20 Kilowatts.
2012- There have been record
breaking solar plants in China and
Pros for Solar Energy
Solar power itself is free but the equipment needed is not.
Does not cause pollution.
Can be used in remote areas.
Many everyday items are powered by solar power.
Solar energy will never end unlike other types of
Solar Power can be installed on many rooftops so you
don't have to find the land for solar power placement.
Cons for Solar Energy
Solar power only works in daytime
when it is sunny.
Solar panels, collectors, and cells
are relatively expensive.
Solar power stations are very
expensive and do not match every
single power station.
In countries that have unreliable
climate, solar power would be an
unreliable source of electricity.
Large areas of land are needed.
Cost of Solar Power
Depending on the location and the
design, the typical installation rate is 3-7
kilowatts and costs between 18k and 40k.
All of the equipment costs take up 45% of
the final price.
Solar Panels(4.5k-12k), Power
hardware(800$-2k), and Wiring(1k-2k).
Installation and permitting costs take up
System Installation(2k-4k), and permits
costs is 30%.
repairs will depend
on the part that is
needed to be fixed.
overhead costs is
Solar Power in British
Solar Power in BC is growing very
quickly because of the locally
developed leading edge technologies.
BC's best solar energy resources are
located in the northeast and southern
part of the province.
BC is trying to have more of the
province use solar power.
This is an example of a solar
trash compactor. These are found
in Victoria and Vancouver.