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

A new snow tracking sensor

Roofs collapsing under heavy snow, mini-avalanches in cities, and flash floods are just some of the winter headaches that could be resolved if there were a better way to track snow cover. With that in mind, Ph.D. student ...

Speeding up the energy transition reduces climate risks

The World Climate Conference in Glasgow has just ended, and the question is whether the goal of maximum global heating of 1.5 degrees Celsius can still be achieved. In a model calculation, Empa researchers show how the energy ...

How NASA's Curiosity rover is making Mars safer for astronauts

Could lava tubes, caves, or subsurface habitats offer safe refuge for future astronauts on Mars? Scientists with NASA's Curiosity Mars rover team are helping explore questions like that with the Radiation Assessment Detector, ...

Tribocatalysis: Challenges and perspectives

With an increasing global energy demands and environmental pollution, the development of alternative clean energy technologies has aroused widespread research interest. Harvesting and converting natural energy from the environment, ...

page 1 from 40

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.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA