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How is Solar Energy used?
Part 2 Active Use of Solar Energy
How is Solar Energy used actively?
Important question, since it is the main source of any energy on this planet.
An active use of solar power and energy is the generation of electricity from the solar rays.
Active techniques to collect solar energy use fans, photovoltaic panels and pumps to convert sunlight into electricity.
The main advantage to passive systems is that electricity can be distributed globally if needed. Passive energy cannot be distributed.
Also active solar energy can be used to power a computer or TV-Set, which need electricity and not heat for functioning.
So the active use of solar energy is pretty modern development, although the first photovoltaic cell was constructed in the 1880s by Charles Fritts.
Modern satellites couldn’t function without reliable photovoltaic cells, and the first satellite to rely on photovoltaic solar panels was the Vanguard I satellite in 1958.
This first solar energy cell was built using selenium and had only a 1% efficiency.
Modern photovoltaic solar panels are made of silicon and have a 41% efficiency.
And now it gets good. The most recent product by Caltech has an efficiency between 85%-95%. This is awesome and will give solar enrgy another boost once it is implemented.
By raising the efficiency and with the coming surge in prices for oil (and nuclear energy) solar energy and renewable energies get cheaper and cheaper per day.
This website is how you can use this advantage at home for yourself.