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World Report View

How Can You Use the Sun’s Energy?

by Paisley Hansen | 04-10-2019 15:00 recommendations 0 recommendations

You probably learned about photosynthesis in elementary school: how plants use energy from the sun to grow. Plants take in carbon dioxide and light energy from the sun and convert it to oxygen and sugar so that the plant can grow big and strong. If plants can utilize the energy from the sun, how can people do the same? Solar panels are designed to take in the energy from the sun and convert it to usable energy-that is energy to turn on a light, use the microwave or watch television. But how does that work?

Sunlight To Panel

When the sun is shining, solar panels are prepared to take in all the energy they can. Even if it is overcast, the light rays cutting through the clouds can provide enough energy to activate a solar panel. During peak hours of the day, solar panels take in the sunlight and convert it to electricity in several steps. Solar panels contain photovoltaic cells (PV cells) that convert the sunlight into direct current electricity. This electricity is one step closer to powering a home, but it is not ready yet. That is where other pieces of equipment come in.

Panel To Electricity

Now that the panel has captured energy, how exactly does solar energy work to actually light up your home? The direct current energy that your solar panel converted goes through an inverter, where it becomes alternating current electricity. This is the electricity that powers your home, just as it would be powered by the electric grid your house is connected to. Oftentimes, if you get enough solar energy from your solar panels, you do not need to draw energy from the electric grid to supply your home. Sometimes, however, you might need energy from elsewhere. The grid near you is your backup, so you don't have to worry if your solar energy collection is not up to par with the amount of energy you use. Either way, your solar panels produce the energy you need to decrease your electric bill.

Electricity To Storage

If you create excess electricity, some systems are equipped with batteries. The extra solar energy you collect during the day will charge the battery and give you electricity to use later. Storage technology is still being researched and perfected because it is not super effective at this time. Energy that you cannot store, however, can go back into the electric grid you are connected to.

Storage To the Grid

Leftover electricity is a positive occurrence. In fact, power companies will often pay you for your unused electricity. Depending on where you live, your state might have programs that encourage you to sell back unused solar energy. This can make buying solar panels more feasible for small businesses, schools or homeowners. Instead of relying on your energy company to provide affordable electricity to you, you can provide electricity for them.

History of Solar Energy

In 1839, French physicist, Edmund Bequerel discovered that certain materials produced a small electric current in the presence of sunlight. His discovery was followed up by Albert Einstein, who was able to lay the groundwork for the basis of photovoltaic technology. In 1954, Bell Laboratories built the first photovoltaic module. The technology was not strong enough yet, but by the 1970's, solar energy was being used and solar panels were being built and improved. Now, solar panels are more effective than ever.

Just as photosynthesis turns solar energy into useful energy for plants, solar panels harness light energy and turn it into useful electricity. Solar panels can make you less dependent on an electric grid and give you a reliable, renewable energy source.


Solar Energy

PaisleyHansen

  • United States Of America Chaperone Paisley Hansen

3 Comments

Sandhya Adhikari

  • Sandhya Adhikari says :
    Hello Paisley,
    Thank you so much for your report about the solar energy,
    Absolutely we can use solar energy for free with less pollution,
    Which is the best alternative for the energy conservation
    Keep writing such a great report.
    Green Cheers,
    Yours,
    Sandhya

    Posted 05-10-2019 23:47

Prakriti  Ghimire

  • Prakriti Ghimire says :
    Great article
    Keep writing
    Green cheers
    Regards
    Prakriti Ghimire
    Posted 04-10-2019 17:29

Meena Pandey

  • Meena Pandey says :
    Hello Paisley!!!
    I hope you are fine and doing great,
    Thank you for the well written report.

    Keep writing and shining.
    Hope to learn more from you.

    Warm regards,
    Meena Pandey

    GREEN CHEERS.

    Posted 04-10-2019 15:20

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