Powering the world with the
energy of the Sun
What is Solar Energy?
Solar energy is the process of harvesting the
power of the sun. You can look at solar energy by
what type of energy its converted into:
•Solar thermal energy
•Concentrating solar power
•Photovoltaic solar power
Solar Thermal Energy
Solar thermal energy is the process of collecting the sun’s
infrared rays to heat things, for example, water, or air.
Solar thermal panels are classified in 3 different ways:
•Medium-temperature Heating water
with a solar
•High-temperature thermal panel.
Low-temperature panels are flat and
are usually used to heat swimming
pools. Medium-temperature panel
are also flat and are used to heat
water or air. High-temperature
panels use mirrors or lenses and
are usually used for electric power
Concentrated Solar Power
(High-temperature thermal energy)
This is a type of solar thermal
energy that consists of mirrors
that concentrate large
amounts of sunlight onto a
small area. This heats water,
which evaporates and turns
into steam that turns a heat
engine, usually a steam
engine, and produces
electricity. This process works
best in a cloud free
environment, because it
needs direct sunlight.
Photovoltaic Solar Power
energy by using
a solar cell.
Solar cells make
but any type of
Even though photovoltaic solar power represents less than
3% of all energy produced, it is the fastest growing
energy business in the world.
The next graph shows what United States is looking toward
for the future:
less than one
energy. So if
the US wants
to get it over
Where is Solar Power Mostly
1) South Korea– Recently, they built the biggest power
plant in the world, holding 109,000 solar panels.
2) China- They alone produce more solar panels than the
rest of the world. Unfortunately, they don’t use them
much. For the 2008 Olympics, they installed about
1,100 solar panels on the roof of the Beijing Olympics
3) Spain- All new non-residential buildings have solar
panels to produce part of the electricity they need.
4) Portugal- One of Europe’s sunniest locations. They
have one large solar farm, with 52,000 solar panels.
Pros and Cons
•Solar panels give off no pollution. •The price of solar cells are high.
•It produces energy quietly. Currently, highly efficient ones can
•Produces energy anywhere, for cost more than $1,000, and homes
example, in space, where they are may need more than one.
not linked to power from Earth.
•They can only produce energy
•It doesn’t require extra space, during the day.
because it can be installed on
rooftops. •Weather can affect the efficiency of
•Solar energy makes us less the solar cells, so bad weather can
dependant of fossil fuels for energy. make solar cells not wok as well.
•There are systems to accumulate •Pollution affects solar cell efficiency,
energy, so you can store energy
so if a building in a large city wanted
that was produced but you didn’t
use. to install a solar panel, it wouldn’t
work as well because the air is more
•No need to replace or maintain
•It is a renewable resource. •Not every place in the world receives
a lot of sunlight.
Solar power makes no pollution, so many
people think it is the future of providing
energy for the world. Scientists have proved
that every two years, the amount of solar
power produced is doubled. They predict
that in 20 years, the solar power industry will
grow by 1000%, this is enough to power
every home in the world.
We Can Save The Earth
Solar Energy Does Not Emit Greenhouse Gasses
The future of energy:
Now we know how to create energy
without climate change
Solar Energy Gets Cheaper
This graph shows
price of solar
electricity in cents
per Kilowatt. So
by 2020, the
estimate is about
10 cents per
kilowatt. A small
heater could need
1 kilowatt to
Recent Solar Power News
A Prison In Indiana Switches To Solar Power
To Trim Budget
An prison in Indiana has decided to install solar
panels to heat its water, and they estimate they
will save $6,000 every year. They will install 15
solar panels that measure 4 by 10 feet. The
prisoners need hot water to shower, and the
officials thought this is the best solution. It will
cost about $75,000 to install, but they estimate it
will pay back in 15 years.
State Prison Switches To Solar Power To Trim Budget
CARLISLE, Ind. -- An Indiana prison hopes to save $6,000 a year in by
using solar power to provide hot water for inmate showers.
The Wabash Valley Correctional Facility has been heating the water in one
maximum-security housing unit with solar panels through a project that
began in February. The unit houses 200 inmates and has 15 solar panels
that measure 4 feet by 10 feet mounted on the roof.
The facility is installing meters on the solar system and on one in a different
housing unit to compare their use of energy. The entire facility could be
switched to solar-heated water if the data reports a significant change,
officials said. The new system cost $75,000 and is expected to pay for itself
within 15 years, officials said
know how solar panels work
Now know the benefits of solar power
know how to make a difference