Seven little known facts about solar energy

Did you know solar panels are made of silicon, which is also used to make computer chips? That’s why they’re so efficient. Did you also know that these panels work best when they face south? This means the sun can shine on them all day long, making them more productive.

It is a resource that is clean, abundant and inexhaustible. Here are seven little known facts about energy harnessed by the sun which will change your perspective on this fantastic resource:

You can store its energy in salt

Salt has been found as an efficient storage solution for concentrated solar power (CSP) generators as it can store heat from the sun’s rays even after dark. This means that it could be a perfect solution for storing renewable energy from CSP plants in deserts, where large amounts of unused land and sunlight are plentiful.

It can be deployed faster than any other resource

Energy from the sun has several benefits, but the most important one is that it can be deployed much quicker than any other electricity generation. When disaster strikes, no electricity source can be built or repaired as quickly.

The space industry was one of the first to use renewable technologies

In the 1950s, the space industry began to use renewable technology to provide power aboard spacecraft. Vanguard 1 – the first artificial satellite run by solar cells – remains the oldest manufactured satellite in orbit, logging more than 6 billion miles.

Panels are now a standard feature on satellites and rovers exploring other planets like Mars or Venus, as well as for large-scale ground installations that generate clean electricity from sunlight.

One hour of sunlight is enough to power the entire Earth for a year

One hour of direct sunlight is all it takes to collect enough energy to generate a year’s worth of energy for the entire Earth. It doesn’t take much, but with this free and powerful resource at our disposal, imagine what could be accomplished?

The world’s largest solar plant is in California 

Ivanpah Power Facility is the world’s largest operating solar thermal plant. It uses CSP technology to focus 173,500 heliostats, each containing two mirrors, onto boilers located in three power towers. The plant, which came online in 2014, has a gross capacity of 392 megawatts (MW).

Panels don’t need direct sunlight 

It doesn’t matter if it’s cloudy outside or not. They can capture different parts of the sunlight spectrum – so even when the sun isn’t beaming directly onto them, they’ll still be generating electricity for your home.

The cost of panels has fallen 99 per cent since 1977 

Lower prices mean that now is a great time to invest in solar power for your home or business. This will save you money on your electric bill and help protect our environment and reduce pollution from fossil fuels. With so many benefits, there’s no reason not to go green today.

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