Solar Energy For Homes – Two Different Types of Alternative Energy

Solar Energy is a broad term covering a wide variety of energy sources. Solar energy is radiant heat and light from the Sun, which is captured using a host of ever-changing technologies including photovoltaics (PV), solar thermal power, solar energy, solar architecture, and artificial photosynthesis. Solar energy can be stored in a variety of ways but the best way is by catching the heat of the Sun and transferring it to somewhere else. Solar energy has been around for a long time. However, it wasn’t until recently that different types of solar technology were developed.

One of the first methods to capture solar energy was by use of photovoltaic panels. Photovoltaic panels work by converting the sun’s rays into electricity. In the past, photovoltaic panels used copper oxide. Today, new advances have made solar cells even more efficient, thus permitting them to be much smaller and more powerful than they were previously.

One solar energy solution which has become popular recently is solar water heating. Solar water heating systems are based on the principle of using the sun’s natural light to boil water. The sunlight is captured by flat plates which are then connected to a boiler. Water is heated and transferred to household piping via these solar cells.

Solar thermal energy is also a popular way to convert sunlight into heat to use to produce electricity. But not only is solar thermal energy convenient because it is extremely reliable and low maintenance, but it has also come under much scrutiny over the years because of the harmful effects it may have on the environment. Solar Thermal energy cannot be produced at the same quantity and power as other alternative forms of producing electricity. The number of solar ponds needed to produce enough thermal energy for a home can easily run into the thousands!

A third alternative, which is very similar to solar energy is passive solar power. This method uses simple design principles to harness the energy of the sun to provide our homes with electricity. Photovoltaic panels used to harvest the sun’s energy are usually placed on the roof to capture the most sunlight possible. The electricity produced is stored in battery packs and then used to power appliances and lights in the home.

Another major benefit of solar heating is that it can be built to last. Flat-plate collectors have been around for decades. Although flat-plate collectors have not always been the most durable, the technology used to build them has been around longer than most people would have you believe. With modern materials and technology, these solar heating systems can last a decade or longer with proper maintenance. But, this maintenance should occur only once a year – not when the sun is shining.

Source: UrbanEnergyTransformations.co.za

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