The sun has produced energy for as long as the earth has been around.
Solar energy is the sun’s rays, (solar radiation) that reaches the Earth. It is
the radiant light and heat from the sun that has been harnessed since ancient
times. It is also one of the of the many renewable energy sources available
to man, but for now cannot replace fossil fuels 100%.
Solar energy can be converted to electricity. This is done in two ways.
One, by using Photovoltaic, (solar cells), you can change the sunlight
directly into electricity. The solar cells are like batteries, they store the
energy for later use. The solar cells are then used to store power to give
energy for objects like watches, calculators and even some lighted road signs.
The second way is by using solar power plants. They generate electricity
when the heat from the solar thermal collectors is used to heat a fluid that
produces steam that is used to power generators.
The sun’s rays can also be converted to Thermal (heat) energy and
used to heat water for many homes, buildings and swimming pools. Large
flat panels are used to absorb and collect the energy. You can find some of
these panels on many rooftops of homes. They collect the heat energy and
transfer that energy to the water heaters.
Solar energy has many limitations. Solar energy is free and its
supplies are unlimited. Using solar energy produces no air or water
pollution. On the other hand, the biggest disadvantages of solar energy
are, the amount of sunlight that gets to the surface of the earth is not
constant. It depends on