Related topics: solar cells · energy · solar panels · electricity · megawatts

Striking a balance between climate action and social equality

At a referendum held in February, residents of Freiburg im Breisgau voted in favour of building a site in their city that will combine environmental and societal targets. The plan is supported by ICLEI – Local Governments ...

Solar panel demand causing spike in worldwide silver prices

Rising demand for solar panels is having a major effect on the worldwide price of silver, which could lead to solar panel production costs becoming far higher in the future, new research from the University of Kent has demonstrated.

The space we travel through

When sea-faring nations began to explore new regions of the world, one of their biggest concerns in making the journey safely was how to cope with weather. They could harness the wind for power. They could rely on the Sun ...

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

Turning buildings into energy producers

Photovoltaics can be used directly in building and renovation projects and serve as a construction material in their own right. Integrating solar panels into facades and roofs can transform buildings into electricity producers ...

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Solar energy

Solar energy is the radiant light and heat from the Sun that has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation along with secondary solar resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass account for most of the available renewable energy on Earth. Only a minuscule fraction of the available solar energy is used.

Solar power provides electrical generation by means of heat engines or photovoltaics. Once converted, its uses are limited only by human ingenuity. A partial list of solar applications includes space heating and cooling through solar architecture, potable water via distillation and disinfection, daylighting, hot water, thermal energy for cooking, and high temperature process heat for industrial purposes.

Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute sunlight. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors (with electrical or mechanical equipment) to convert sunlight into useful outputs. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.

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