Understanding How Solar Energy Works

Wondering how solar energy works, Well you’re not alone because as more of us wake up to the fact that our over reliance on non-renewable fossil fuels simply cannot go on, we are left looking around for alternatives and solar energy is often one of the first renewable energy sources that is investigated.

Our fascination with the sun has been with us since the beginning of time and rightly so, the sun is the means by which life on earth exists. Plants use the sun to perform that vital process of life that is known as photosynthesis i.e. they use the sunlight and the green chlorophyll in their leaves to turn sugars into energy and it is this energy that enables the plant to grow. Without the sun, we would cease to live.

Now, to answer the question “how solar energy works,” requires a little bit more science and a little bit of technological explanation. When the light and heat from the sun hits a collection of materials that can act as a conductor, for instance silicon cells, a chemical reaction takes place that enables this energy to be turned into solar power. A solar panel makes use of these silicon cells in a grid like format and this is what we commonly use to harness and utilize solar energy.

So understanding how solar energy works and the equipment necessary to make it happen, we then move on to the types of uses for solar energy. Well typically most people use solar energy and then solar power, for running their homes. Hot water systems, pools and central heating systems are all run very successfully with solar power.

What is also a draw for many who are considering solar energy as a power source to run their homes, is to be able to sell the excess power back to their power companies. This is what is known as to ‘get off grid’. So not only is there the real possibility of living off free fuel, but there is also the possibility of making some return on investment. What should be pointed out though, is that for this to happen, there needs to be sufficient roof space to place the solar panels and the amount of power that is needed to run a particular home also has to be taken into account.

With all that said, once an understanding of how solar energy works and the costs of the equipment can be met, then there solutions to meet the individual needs of those who are prepared to invest in this clean renewable green energy.