Monday, April 27, 2009

Solar power technology

Solar power is the energy that we get from the sun. This energy can either be obtained in the form of heat or in the form of light.

A major issue that is often faced is how to collect and harness solar power. A number of technologies are available today that can be used for exploring the full potential of solar power.

The various solar power technologies available are Solar cells, heaters and furnace. The solar cells are also known as photovoltaic or photoelectric cells. Solar cells are devices that convert sunlight into electricity. Solar cells are mainly used in remote areas with sufficient sunlight to meet the electricity needs of that area. Solar water heaters are also called solar collectors. They are usually installed on roofs of buildings. Solar collectors are made up of glass panels which use the heat energy of the sun to heat water. Solar furnaces use reflectors like mirrors that are properly placed in order to concentrate all the sunlight at a single point. This concentration of heat at one point results in very high temperatures to be generated. This heat can then be used to generate electricity, creating hydrogen fuel or to melt steel.

The amount of energy obtained from the sun in the form of solar power is very small. However, it is sufficient enough to meet the electricity needs of the entire planet for a very long time. Efforts therefore need to be made in order to develop technologies that can capture solar power efficiently and improve its usage.

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