Get our free book on rainwater now - To Catch the Rain.
|See also the Solar energy category.|
for subtopics, how-tos, project pages, designs, organization pages and more.
Solar energy means energy from sunlight, in any form.
Some forms of solar energy include
- Electricity - see Solar power. Most commonly this means solar photovoltaic panels: see Category:photovoltaics for many more specific articles on photovoltaics. However, other forms of solar power exist.
- Solar heating; may be active or passive ; used for indoor environmental heating and heating water
- Production of mechanical energy, for example by a heat engine
Some forms of solar energy such as heating are well-adapted to low-technology appropriate construction, while others such as photovoltaic cells for the production of electricity are typically mass-produced in high-tech capital-intensive factories.
The relatively mild heating of a flat plate collector can be used for:
- directly warming water: see Open design water heater and AT solar power tower
- dehydrating food : Chris's ENGR305 Solar Food Dehydrator
- dehydrating seawater to get salt
- various steps in papermaking
According to Village Earth, water heated in a normal flat plate collector does not boil.
So to Pasteurize water and to cook at high temperature cannot use flat plate collectors, but must use more complicated concentrating collectors that require frequent adjustment to keep them pointed at the sun, such as:
- Solar Cooking and Health
- mechanical mathematician for paraboloids
- How to build a solar cooker
- Solar cooking and development of solar cookers
- Humboldt solar cooking gallery
- Aleiha's parabolic solar cooker
- Parabolic basket and tin can solar cooker
The solar energy benefits are multiple:
- Solar energy is one of the primary renewable energy sources
- A solar system can substantially reduce electricity bills. The amount that can be reduced from your bills depends on the size of the solar system and the household energy usage.
- Solar energy can be used for different purposes, such as electricity (photovoltaics) and heat (solar thermal).
- Solar energy systems generally require low maintenance costs. Cleaning companies ask on average for £25-£35 per cleaning, and manufacturers offer 20-25 years warranty.
- The technological developments taking place within the solar panel industry assure that solar panels will continue being one of the most effective sustainable energy sources on the planet.
For more specific articles on solar energy, see Category:Solar.
- GreenMatch - Pros and Cons of Solar Energy. The article containing information and graphics on benefits and disadvantages with buying solar energy systems.