Interesting Facts about Solar Energy
From history to science, there are so many interesting facts about solar energy.
General Solar Energy Facts
- Solar energy is the primary source of energy for all life forms.
- Solar energy is clean. No fossil fuels are used to produce heat or electricity with solar energy. The only pollution produced is in the manufacturing, transporting and installing of solar panels.
- The sun's energy can be used in a variety of ways. Solar power can be used to cook food, heat and cool homes, warm water and light buildings. See solar energy facts for more ways to use the sun's energy.
- Solar thermal power creates electricity by heating water into steam. This heat can be used to warm the air in your home or the water for your morning shower.
- California currently has the largest solar power plant in the world. Covering 1000 acres are nine solar thermal plants in the Mojave Desert.
- For solar energy to generate electricity, it must be daylight. During night hours, stored solar energy or an alternative energy source must be used.
- Photovoltaic Panels (solar panels) are mainly composed of silicon.
- Although the initial investment of solar panels is high, energy from the sun is free. The payback period may take several years, but money will be saved in the long term.
- Problems with solar energy may arise in certain locations. Regions that have an abundance of cloudy, overcast, or rainy days find it hard to benefit from solar power.
For more information, see Solar Energy Pros and Cons.
- Solar energy is measured in kilowatt-hours - 1 kilowatt = 1000 watts.
Interesting Facts About Solar Energy History
- The history of solar power can be traced back to the 7th Century B.C. During this time, magnifying glasses used the sun's rays to make fire.
- The Greeks and Romans were the first to use passive solar designs. Buildings with south facing windows allowed the sun to heat and light indoor spaces.
- In 1921, Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize for his theories on the photoelectric effect.
- Solar panels first appeared on the market in 1956.
- Space programs started using photovoltaic powered systems in 1958. They are still used today.
Interesting Facts About Solar Energy: Today & the Future
- Demand for solar energy items is currently greater than supply.
- Today's home solar energy systems are low maintainence and will last for decades.
- Due to increased competition from manufacturers and DIY solar energy kits, the cost of solar panels are falling.
- In the next decade, it's expected that photovoltaic power will be similar in price to traditional sources of electricity.
- Solar panels will be a standard feature for newly constructed homes and commerical buildings.