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Solar Energy Use for Increasing Home Energy Efficiency

We all know that the sun has been producing energy for billions of years. When the sun’s rays reach the earth this produces solar energy. This energy can then be changed into other energy forms such as heat or electricity. In this day and age people are using the sun’s energy for many different purposes. The energy from the sun can be a very useful and energy efficient way to power your home and can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Solar energy can be changed into heat energy and can be used to heat water to use in your home or swimming pools or it can be used to heat spaces such as in greenhouses or homes. By doing this, you can decrease your dependence on traditional energy methods and in some areas you can even eliminate your need for other energy sources altogether.

There are two ways to convert solar energy into electricity. You can do this through photovoltaic devices which change the sunlight into electricity directly. These systems are mainly used in rural areas that are not in an area where there are other energy sources available and that cannot be connected to the power grid. These devices are also used to power calculators, watches, and road signs.

The other method to convert solar energy into electricity is through solar power plants. These plants generate electricity indirectly when the solar thermal collectors heat fluid which then produces steam that is used in generating power. There were 15 recognized solar electric generating plants in the United States in 2006. Of these plants, there were 10 located in California and 5 in Arizona. Statistics are only compiled for plants that produce more than 1 megawatt of electricity, but there are smaller solar plants in other states.

There are some serious disadvantages to using solar energy however. There is not a constant amount of sunlight that arrives at the earth’s surface. The amount depends on factors such as your location, the time of day, the time of the year, and the weather conditions. Also, using solar energy for electricity requires a large area because the sun does not deliver a lot of energy to one single place at any given time.

Converting sunlight into energy is done through photovoltaic energy. A solar cell, otherwise known as a photovoltaic cell is the process that is used to change solar energy directly to electricity. Photovoltaic cells are devices that are non-mechanical and are most commonly made of silicon alloys. Photons, or particles of solar energy, are absorbed when they hit photovoltaic cells. If there is enough energy absorbed electricity is created. This energy is converted in many different ways and can be used for a variety of things. Some houses, in very sunny regions are powered completely by solar energy.

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