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Science experiments dealing with thermal energy

Solar Energy For Residential Use

There is a common myth that solar heating is the primary use for solar energy in the home but in actual fact it's not always useful for this. In the winter, when you use your heating, the sun is lower in the sky and there are less hours of daylight. At other times of the year when solar energy would be more effective you're less likely to need it. Solar heating can supplement the other heating in your home but not take over totally from it.

The Technology behind Solar Energy

A number of technologies have been developed to make use of solar radiation. Some of these make direct use of solar energy for lighting and heating etc., while others produce electricity. They are:

1. Solar thermal energy collection systems generate electricity through mirrors and a system of tubes filled with fluid.

2. Solar thermal collectors which are used to generate heat.

3. Photovoltaic panels which produce electricity using sunlight. However, the current they generate is D.C. and would need to be converted to A.C. for residential use. Just heating one home would require a very big large area so solar panels are not often used for domestic heating.

4. Solar hot water panels which heat water in the home.

How Efficient are Solar Panels?

Solar panels produce very little power in shady or cloudy conditions so are most efficient in direct sunshine. Surprisingly, solar panels used in very hot climates are less efficient than those used in sunny but cold countries because it is light that makes electricity not heat.

Also, at varying times of the day, the amount of energy produced will be different depending upon the angle of the sun to the panel. On cloudy days horizontal panels are more efficient but normally more energy is produced when the panel is inclined. Pointing the panel directly at the sun produces the most energy.

Although the popularity of home solar energy has been decreasing since the 1970s, billions of dollars have been spent on developing Photovoltaic systems in America and Japan. Lately, Germany has also joined in the research so costs are falling. Also, in some countries you can recoup some of your expenses by selling excess energy back to the electricity companies.

Before your buy be better informed about solar power energy. Discover the disadvantages and advantages of solar energy and how useful it is for things such as lighting and heating.






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