Thursday, April 23, 2009

Solar Energy

Solar energy is the energy provided from the sun. Solar energy can be also classified as thermal energy and electric energy. As energy from the sun, solar energy is present in fossil fuels. It is present in the remains of dead plants and animals. Solar energy is also absorbed by plants to prepare their food through the process of photosynthesis. It is also available freely to grow food and keep our bodies warm.

In the form of thermal energy, solar energy provides heat. Solar energy in the form of heat energy can be used to generate electricity and heat water. There are several technologies through which solar energy can be used to generate electricity. Solar pool heaters are used to keep water in pools warm. A solar tower is used to generate electricity by using heat energy from the sun. It is a tall tower through which hot air rises and drives a turbine to generate electricity.

As thermal energy, solar energy is also used to passively and actively heat water. In passive heating by solar energy, water is preheated by the sun’s rays and then used in a conventional water heater. In active heating by solar energy, a heating element is used in solar hot water systems.

As electric energy, solar energy is used in solar cells. Solar cells capture the sun’s rays and convert it to direct current electricity. This DC current is then converted to alternating current to provide electricity.

Solar energy
is a cost effective and renewable source of energy that will continue providing energy for long.


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