In only one minute, the sun produces enough energy for humans to use for an entire year. Harnessing solar power has been one of the finest accomplishments for man in the last century. There are so many options when it comes to using this powerful energy, it seems simply amazing.
People have been using solar power since the 1970s. The usual application for solar power started out very small, such as little handheld calculators, because the cost of developing the PV panels required to create solar power can be extremely high. The cost is lowering as time goes by due the advances in technology and knowledge.
Solar power is also cultivated by grouping together a mass of large mirrors and using them to focus a stream of sunlight in one direction. This causes heat to rise and the heat is used as power. The suns energy is used to gather heat in solar thermal collectors. People use this method for warming their homes and buildings.
We also use solar power to heat water and air and to create electricity. Solar panels are filled with cells that convert the suns light into electricity and send it through a system so that it can be used to provide the electricity for the building. These kinds of systems are used when the location is such that regular utilities are not available. Many people use solar power to reduce their monthly bills. An initial startup cost for installing solar cells in the home can be very high, however, so it is not as common as it could be.
Using solar power is a good way to be environmentally conscious. As the cost of installation comes down, people will be more likely to want to convert their homes to using this kind of method. The advantages of using any kind of natural resource are many. Solar energy is the cleanest source of heating and generating electricity.
Another way that this is used by people today is in greenhouses. Farmers utilize the sun to provide the perfect year round environment to grow specialized crops or to continue production off season. They also use these panels to dry crops and manure, weatherize and maintain temperatures in chicken houses and pump water. The agricultural benefits are many and people all around the world are taking advantage of the technology.
Solar power is used for work in places where laying a cable line would not be possible. For instance, any work that is done in space would need some kind of available power grid. All of the satellites in the atmosphere are powered using solar energy. There is no more viable source to use than the sun.
There are solar cells used to heat water as well but these panels must be drained of all water to prevent them from freezing in the winter. Some systems will do this automatically. This kind of heating works best in places where there is a lot of sunshine and less rain or moisture. This is another method used to reduce the monthly energy bill.