What is Solar Energy?

In our solar system, the largest producer of energy that exists is the sun. The amount of solar energy reaching as radiation our planet, equivalent to about 35 million times! energy producing all the power plants in Chile.

Solar radiation, of course, provides us with light and heat energy.

It can also be transformed into electrical energy. In addition, radiation is essential for the plants (through photosynthesis) to gain energy and live. Plants are the basis of the food chain on Earth (also in the oceans, of course), providing energy to the whole animal kingdom.

Oil, gas and coal are the result of the decomposition of the remains of plants and animals that lived millions of years ago. Some plant resources are also utilized as biomass to generate energy (firewood, charcoal).

And there’s more! The solar power generated by the evaporation of water from the seas, which precipitates in lakes and rivers, which will be utilized in the generation of hydroelectricity. When heating zones more than others, the Sun produces differences in the “weight” of air masses, wind generating systems on the planet: wind power.

In today’s society, we use the energy that gives us the sun in various ways. Direct radiation serves to dry (clothes, fruit), heat and cooking.

Solar radiation is also used to generate electricity. Some solar power generation plants use sunlight to heat water into steam; It mobilizes steam turbine connected to a generator which converts motion into electricity.

Sunlight can also be converted directly into electricity using photovoltaic cells and panels. These cells were developed in the 1950s, to be used by space satellites. They are made of silicon.

Several photovoltaic cells connected in series form a photovoltaic panel. The energy generated by these panels can be used to power homes, electric cars or businesses. Cells of solar energy is also used individually for small machines such as calculators.

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