How does Solar Power work? A physicist’s view on Solar Energy

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How does Solar Power work? The physicist view.

So we have seen that Solar Power basically has 2 ways to turn it into energy, namely the active use of solar power and the passive use of the solar energy. In this article let us focus on the active use, meaning the active transfer of the sun”s rays into electricity we can use.

Still not clear about “How does Solar Energy work?”

How does Solar Power Work

I agree that it is hard to understand how rays of light can be turned into electricity. I mean, for thousands of years humans have harnessed the sun passively, by heating homes (already quite advanced technologies in Roman times, cleverly designed cooling and heating for Roman villas some 2.000 years ago).

But while it is easy to understand how putting water in the sun’s way can heat up your bath, how can putting a solar collector in the sun’s way run your dish washer? What happens when the rays of our beloved sun hit on this black material? So how does Solar Power work?

How does Solar Power work – invented by the giants

Well, our ability to harness the sun’s incredible power and even run our appliances in the cellar with it comes from inventions and theories of great minds like Albert Einstein, Heisenberg and America’s great inventor Edison. And many other great minds of the beginning 20th century.

How does Solar Power work – it’s the electron, stupid!

They paved the way for understanding energy and atoms and how to make use of energy flowing through cables. They began to understand, that the world consists of molecules, which are themselves built from atoms – which is greek and actually means “impartible” in English. The world then believed that Atoms were impartible. Oh, how wrong they were. The Nuclear bomb is a scary reminder that this belief is not true – a nuclear bomb “simply” deconstructs atoms and the released power kills everything around it.

How does Solar Power work – the ray and the collector

But back to how solar power works. We still are mentally looking at a ray of sunlight hitting a black material on our collector. So what happens?

How does Solar Power work – The sun not only sends light

Well, the ray of light carries – yes – light and also energy. For example heat energy, which can heat up water. A ray of sunlight is an energy beam, and our eyes use part of that energy (part of the beam”s frequency) to see… What this ray of light does is give energy.

How does Solar Power work – a question of the receiving material

And when this ray hits our collector, made of a special material with the best characteristics for this task, this energy ray hits the molecules and atoms of this special material, energize it and destabilize the material on the atomic level.

How does Solar Power work? Destabilizing our Collector

Yes, this energy beam destabilizes the atomic structure. And since an atom is not impartible, but consists of subparts like Neutrino, Proton and especially electrons, a energy flow starts to take place in the material. The Electrons, which – as far as I remember it was Heisenberg who discovered this fact – are rotating around the atom”s nucleus (core), are becoming exaggerated by the ray”s energy and start to jump over to over atoms, pushing their electrons to the next atom. An electric (from electron) current builds up. Electrons are pushing other electrons out of their orbit, faster and faster the more of sun”s energy is hitting the collector.

How does solar Power work: Sun creates a push on electrons

It is a bit like a flowing stream of water, running downhill. The sun’s rays keep pushing the electrons, which start to jump over to other atoms and by that pushing the residing electron out of orbit, over to another atom. So the sun creates a constant stream of electrons, and this stream can be harnessed, for example by connecting a light bulb. The electrons now will start to push through the lightbulb’s filament, by that creating friction, by that heating up the filament, making it glow…and viola, now you can read in the basement.

How does Solar Power work – stream of electrons

And if we set up enough solar collectors, this stream of electrons is so strong, that you can even connect your dryer to it…and it will make the machine work.

So, this is the answer to “how does solar power work”.

Since “How does Solar Power work” has been answered, do you want to make use of this stream of electrons at home? Perhaps, are you stuck on what to buy for a Solar Powered Air Conditioning? Then check out my article there.

Or do you now have a question about a Solar bipod Charger?

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