Solar energy

related topics
{math, energy, light}
{acid, form, water}
{island, water, area}
{company, market, business}
{system, computer, user}
{ship, engine, design}
{food, make, wine}
{build, building, house}
{car, race, vehicle}
{area, community, home}
{city, large, area}
{rate, high, increase}
{water, park, boat}
{church, century, christian}

Biofuel
Biomass
Geothermal
Hydroelectricity
Solar energy
Tidal power
Wave power
Wind power

Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation, along with secondary solar-powered resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass, account for most of the available renewable energy on earth. Only a minuscule fraction of the available solar energy is used.

Solar powered electrical generation relies on heat engines and photovoltaics. Solar energy's uses are limited only by human ingenuity. A partial list of solar applications includes space heating and cooling through solar architecture, potable water via distillation and disinfection, daylighting, solar hot water, solar cooking, and high temperature process heat for industrial purposes.To harvest the solar energy, the most common way is to use solar panels.

Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute solar energy. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors to harness the energy. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.

Contents

Full article ▸

related documents
Scanning electron microscope
Nuclear physics
Deuterium
Semiconductor
X-ray
Age of the Earth
Titan (moon)
Circular dichroism
Helium
Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry
Electron configuration
Ocean thermal energy conversion
State of matter
Big Bang nucleosynthesis
Planetary nebula
Calorimeter
Tunguska event
Impact event
Space colonization
Phase transition
Nucleosynthesis
Interstellar medium
X-ray fluorescence
Electrical resistance
Binding energy
Relative density
Clementine probe
Earth's magnetic field
Laser diode
Magnetometer