Collecting Solar Power At Your House
Article by C.S. Cox
The sun has long been a source of both light and heat energy. The heat energy can be used to heat air and water, and the light source is employed to generate electricity. Of course, the greatest benefit of solar energy is that it is a totally free energy source, so the only concern is how to collect and harness it for utilization.A solar collector is a unit that traps the heat energy of the sun. It consists of a large, flat glass covered box that contains a dark metal plate. The plate absorbs the heat, while the glass keeps the heat from escaping. Air or water flowing through a series of tubes at the bottom of the box is warmed by the heat. Solar collectors can be used to heat homes, provide hot water and air conditioning, and even turn salt water into fresh drinking water via a desalination process.Solar cells are devices that use photovoltaic technology which convert light energy directly into electrical energy. These power systems were initially developed for use in space, where they could make use of a free source of available energy. They still power most all of the satellites circling the Earth because they have an unbelievable life span and require no maintenance.Photovoltaic power systems burn no fuel at all and have no moving parts whatsoever, so they are clean and silent. This is particularly vital where the main alternatives for creating power and light in remote areas are diesel generators and kerosene lanterns. Needless to say, these types of energy systems are very favorable.As to which one of these you would like to use at your house, it will depend on your requirements and how well your location embraces the sunlight. It could be that your solar signature is too weak to have solar energy supply the majority of your needs.
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