Solar Power

Solar Power

by Alex

What is solar power?

What’s the most powerful source of energy on the planet?  Here’s a hint: it’s not some nuclear power plant in Japan.  Time’s up!  It’s actually the sun!  0.01% of the sun’s energy is more energy than humans use today.

The sun is where plants get their energy through a process called photosynthesis; water (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and solar energy go into the plant to make oxygen.  This energizes all the plants in the world and also generates energy for humans and all other living things because they take in the energy and oxygen created by the plants.

How does it help us?

Over the past few decades, scientists have figured out how to turn the sun’s energy into electricity.  There are two ways to capture the sun’s energy. The first way is to use photovoltaic devices, more commonly known as solar cells. These turn solar energy directly into electricity and are combined to make solar panels which can be placed conveniently in calculators, rooftops, and even fields stretching acres wide to power entire cities!  The second way is to use solar-thermal electric power plants, which use solar energy to boil water, which produces steam, which turns a turbine, which moves a generator to produce electricity.  It’s a pretty big chain reaction, but it works!  This is done by using mirrors that reflect solar energy into a receiver to boil water.  The only downside to solar power is that when there is no sunlight, the power goes off. But don’t worry; people can use stored solar energy to keep the party going.

How could it save the world?

By saving the environment!  The more solar power we use, the less pollution we have to produce because using solar panels creates no pollution or carbon dioxide.  Another smaller idea is to put solar panels on cars. This would save money because … when it’s sunny of course they wouldn’t have to pay for gas at all! For gloomy days when the sun isn’t out or for nighttime, drivers could use stored solar power from sunny days instead of gas so – ha! So long, gas prices!

Source: EnergyNOW!

Posted December 13, 2011 by sciencesavestheworld