How to Use Solar Energy at Home
The sun generates a large amount of energy each day. In a matter of seconds, the amount of energy radiated by the sun is greater than the amount of energy consumed since the beginning of time. Only a small portion of this energy reaches our Earth, but that portion is sufficient to supply the United Sates with enough energy to last 1.5 years. Many manufacturers like Gama Sonic have began harnessing this energy to create more energy-efficient and eco-friendly lighting fixtures.
The sun, like most of the stars, is a ball of gas that is made of mostly helium and hydrogen. Nuclear fusion is a process that makes hydrogen atoms come apart in the sun's core due to the high temperature and high amount of pressure. One helium atom is formed when four hydrogen nuclei combine. Radiant energy is produced during this process. It takes a while (millions of years) for this energy to reach the surface from the core, but only takes just over eight minutes for that energy to reach the Earth. This portion is enough to power our nation for well over a year.
Many manufacturers like Minka Outdoor lighting have successfully created energy efficient lighting fixtures, but powering a device or an object through solar energy is more difficult than you think. This is simply due to the fact that it all depends on the time of day, the conditions in the sky, your location in relation to the equator and the season of the year. A solar collector, or a similar device, is needed in order to capture sunlight and turn it into usable energy. Solar space heating is a method that is used in many homes and building today. Special collectors may be designed on the on top of the house or building that looks like glass boxes. These boxes face south to take advantage of the sun during the winter. Water or air then flows through the collector and is warmed by the heat that it is collecting and producing.
Solar water heating works very similar to solar space heating and requires the use of one of the special collectors as well. In this instance, there is a water storage tank that connects to the solar box that is positioned on the south side of the roof. The sunlight then heats the water and stores it in the tank, which is connected via pipe to the rest of the house like a regular water heater. More than 1.5 million homes use this source as their water heater.
Solar electricity is another way that solar energy is used. There are two ways to make electricity from the solar energy you collect: solar thermal systems and photovoltaics. The words "light' and "volt" make up the term photovoltaic, which simply is a measurement of energy. Some of the items that use these types of cells for power include solar-powered toys, roadside telephone boxes and calculators. Solar thermal systems use a system of mirrors to concentrate the solar energy so that it can be powerful enough to use. These types of technologies can make the energy 5,000 times more powerful due to its concentration. Some of the systems that are used include parabolic troughs, solar power towers, dish and engine systems and concentrated solar power.
Solar energy is vital to society due to the fact that it is a clean, sustainable and natural source of energy that can be used for a variety of reasons. From operating in every day life to cooking meals and driving cars, solar energy can be used for just about any type of energy source. Like using efficient ceiling fans, it can dramatically reduce your utility bills and lessen the amount of oil resources that the world uses each day. It also lessens the amount of resources that are used around the world, so there is less worrying about a depletion in our necessities. The amount of carbon dioxide that is being produces from burning fuel would be eliminated, or drastically reduced, if everyone implemented solar energy into their lifestyle in some sort of way. Essentially, each person that uses solar energy in their everyday lives, they are contributing to a longer, cleaner and happier planet life.
Article Written by +Colby Harris