About Solar Energy
Scientists have known for many years that the sun emits enormous amounts of energy that, if captured, could serve as a virtually unlimited source of power. Only recently, however, have the technology and desire for solar power come together to speed development of this formidable resource.
Many believe we are entering solar power’s golden era, with new technology and manufacturing techniques, making solar energy more available and more affordable.
Solar energy is contained in the sun’s rays that strike the Earth each day. This energy helps make life on our planet possible by heating the Earth’s surface and providing light during the daylight hours. Energy produced by sunlight can be harnessed to create electric power and to perform other tasks.
Photovoltaic cells are the most common method for capturing the sun’s energy. They are made from materials such as silicon and convert photons from the sun’s rays directly into electrons to produce an electric current. These cells are wired together to form a module, also known as a solar panel.
For both home and commercial use, solar panels are linked together in a circuit to form an array, which is mounted on rooftops or in open spaces in a way that provides maximum exposure to the sun.
The technology of photovoltaics has been available for many years. However, improvements in recent years, in the efficiency of cells and mass manufacturing, have lowered the cost of producing solar electricity.
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