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?How Solar Power Works In A Nutshell

Posted by on Apr 11th, 2009
Apr 11

With the writing on the wall for the eventual demise of fossil fuels, many are turning to alternative energy source ideas to find new hope. One particular alternative has been around for a while and has proven quite effective. Still, many people do not understand how solar power works. This very basic and renewable source of energy might just prove to be a feasible way to power everything from homes and cars to businesses and beyond.
Understanding how solar power works doesn’t require a doctorate’s degree. A very basic explanation of how this energy source functions can show why so many are turning to the sun’s rays to power their homes either partially or fully.
How solar power works in a nutshell involves:
• A collection system – To understand how solar power works, one must first understand that the sun’s heat is a source of energy. To make a system function, a collection system, generally a solar panel array, must be used to absorb the photon energy from the sun. Solar panels are designed not only to be efficient collectors of heat energy, but also transformers of it. Once heat is captured by a solar panel, it is transformed through semiconductor material into more usable direct current electricity.
• A transformer – Since most electrical devices function using alternating current power, to understand how solar power works for practical purposes, an inverter must come into the picture. This device takes the DC energy collected by the solar panels and turns it into usable AC energy.
• Batteries – In essence, to understand how solar power works, all one needs to think of is a giant battery charger. Energy from the sun is collected by the solar panels and transformed by the inverter. This energy is then sent to batteries for storage and eventual use. Energy can also be processed directly into the electrical grid for immediate use by customers of an electric company.
The basic concepts behind how solar power works are rather easy to understand. In actuality, the devices involved in modern collection systems are highly sophisticated. As more research goes into solar power, this energy source is becoming more productive and efficient. The advantages of using solar power are many and include such things as potential cost savings over regular electric, environmental perks and more.
How solar power works is a concept that more people want to learn about. As coal and other sources of energy begin to dwindle and their environmental impacts become more clearly visible, the sun’s power is rapidly become more intriguing to tap into.

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