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An Introduction To Solar Power

We hear a great deal about so-called renewable energy in the modern world. As the effects of global warming or climate change, depending on your preferred terminology become more apparent, the need to find a way to produce energy without destoying the Earth becomes all the more crucial.

One of the most talked about ways of producing energy is solar power. As the name would imply, solar power involves taking the energy of the sun and using that energy to produce electricity on Earth. While solar power isn't a new concept, it is nevertheless looking as though it will receive a lot of attention during the search for renewable energies.

Solar power works by pinpointing the heat of the sun in a specific area. To do this, solar panels or heliostats are constructed in the sun's glare, where they capture heat. The surfaces of these panels are usually mirrored or shiny, so as to increase the already powerful heat of the sun. This heat is then used to produce electricity through a variety of ways; the most common of these is to use the heat to boil water and produce steam, which is then used to power a traditional electrical generator.

Solar power isn't perfect as a technology, but it is more dependable than was first previously thought. Despite popular conviction, it is feasible to produce electrical power using solar panels on cloudy days, which opens the technologies up to most countries. For solar power to be truly effective, however, the panels need to be placed where they receive continous sunlight and heat throughout the year.

While cold weather and cloudy days don't cause solar panels to cease working entirely, these types of conditions will reduce their output. For this reason alone, the likelihood of solar power being the only solution to the energy crisis of the future is small. It is simply not possible, even in the hottest areas, to rely on solar energy entirely for a country's electrical supply.

This is a crucial consideration, but not one that is particularly controlling if you are merely thinking of having solar panels installed on your roof. In the average home owners case, the demands on your solar panels will be far less than a whole country could produce. You won't be expecting it to power your home entirely forever, so, providing you accept the practical limitations of solar panels during the coldest and wettest months, you should be able to get by.

The other critical disadvantage of solar power is the cost. Again using the idea of an average home owner; the installation of panels and conversion of your energy sources is a time consuming and costly process. While you will eventually make back any investment by saving on your usual utility bills, for many, the up front costs are too expensive.

However, while these considerations aren't limited, they don't mean that solar power isn't one of the most practical ways of generating renewable energy. The sun is our best resource, and it is somewhat surprising it has taken this long for us to fully utilize it.
About Author Gary Shogren :

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Article Added on Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Other Articles by Gary Shogren

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