What is Solar Energy?

What is Solar Energy? How is Solar Energy Used? It is energy from the Sun! When the sun's rays reach the earth they produce heat and sunlight. Sunlight grows plants and provides light for humans and animals to see. The sun's rays also warm the earth so life can flourish.

But solar power energy can also be used to warm your home, warm your bath water, light your home and even cool your home. And it can do this without producing any greenhouse gases that pollute your water or the air you breathe. It can also reduce those monthly energy bills that are not getting any cheaper. And it will not contribute to global warming. So how do we get solar energy?

The three main ways to use solar energy are:

Solar Thermal

Concentrating Solar

  • Sunlight is concentrated on a receiving tower or parabolic troughs to produce steam for generating electricity.
  • Sunlight is concentrated to heat water or a fluid to high temperatures to be used for powering a refrigeration system.

Photovoltaic or "Solar cells"

  • Change sunlight into electricity directly. Solar cells are used in groups to produce panels and arrays of panels.
  • Used to provide power for anything that uses electricity like your home, your business, a factory, a city ....etc.

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