Solar energy facts and tips for kids ESchooltoday Home, All Lessons

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What is renewable energy?
What is Biomas Energy?
What is Wind Energy
What is Hydro Energy
What is Geothermal Energy
What is Solar EnergyWhat is ocean energysaving energy
More Energy Information

Climate Change
Earth System
Food Waste
Forest Preservation
Genetic Engineering
Natural Resources
Ocean Acidification
Ozone Depletion
Waste Water

Water Scarcity
Waste and Recycling

Solar power

Solar power is energy from the sun. "Solar" is the Latin word for "sun" and it's a powerful source of energy. Without it, there will be no life. Solar energy is considered as a serious source of energy for many years because of the vast amounts of energy that is made freely available, if harnessed by modern technology.
energy from the sun

It is renewable!
It is considered 'Renewable Energy' because...
solar energy kidsThe technology used to convert the sun's power into electricity does not produce smoke (carbon dioxide and other air pollutants).
solar energy kidsTapping the sun's energy does not usually destroy the environment.

Unfortunately, the sun does not available in the night, and in some days, clouds and rains and other natural conditions prevent the sun's powerful rays from reaching us. This means that it is not always available. This a why we cannot rely on solar energy alone.

Solar cells
Solar cells are devices that convert light energy directly into electrical energy. In these cells, there are semiconductors (silicon alloys and other materials). You may have seen small solar cells on calculators or some mobile phones. Larger arrays of solar cells are used to power road signs, and even larger arrays are used to power satellites in orbit around Earth. Solar cells are also called photovoltaic cells or PV devices.

Solar panels
Solar panels are different to solar cells. Solar panels do not generate electricity directly. Instead they heat up water directly. A pump pushes cold water from a storage tank through pipes in the solar panel. The water is heated by heat energy from the Sun and returns to the tank. They are often located on the roofs of buildings where they can receive the most sunlight.

Solar Thermal Power Plant
There is also the Solar Thermal Power Plant. Here, a concentration of the sun's energy by many panels is used to heat up water into steam, which is then used to turn turbines to produce electricity.

Guess what! Power stations of this nature usually need a lot of space to capture a lot of the sun's energy!

The Parabolic Trough System
uses this kind of system. Here, troughs are designed to direct the sun's energy to absorber tubes as long as the sun is up.

Many of these Parabolic troughs are installed to collect massive energy for the rods to heat water to turn turbines.

Other less common methods that use the Solar Thermal Power Plant system are the Solar Dish and The Solar Power Tower.

sun energy factDid you know...
In many African villages, the people use the sun's energy to dry foodstuff like fish, corn, snails, and cocoa for storage? That is raw solar energy in use. They spread the foods on large mats and trays in the hot sun for days until the required dryness is attained. This is common in regions with lots of sun.

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