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Solar Panels-Energy from the Sun

Sunlight’s use as an energy source to create electricity was made possible through the research done by the French physicist Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel. In 1839 Becquerel found that electricity could be created when light chemically reacted to certain materials. This discovery is called the photovoltaic effect. Photovoltaic for the Greek word meaning light and for Alessandro Volta an Italian physicist for who the term volt is named. Becquerel’s work led Charles Fritts, in 1883, to the invention of the first solar cell. Because of the low efficiency rating, around 1%, it was not a feasible option for mass produced electricity.

Then in 1954, Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller and Gerald Pearson working at Bell Laboratories invented the silicon solar cell. This increased the efficiency of the solar cell making it practical for electric creation. Their solar cells were used in the 1950s to power US space satellites, but were not widely used in large scale commercial electrical generation.

Advancements in the field of solar power and solar cell technology continue to improve efficiency and lower costs associated with solar power as an energy source.

With the current push toward replacing existing generation technologies with green alternatives, solar affords an excellent option.

Advantages of solar power generation include the fact that it is a sustainable energy source. As the song says “The sun will come up tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar come what may” making it a natural choice. One complaint regarding solar power is that the sun isn’t always accessible, at night or in winter months. That may be.  However, it is fairly predictable as to when it is available and improvements in battery storage development continue to improve.

Solar cell produced energy does not have the pollutant discharge issues associated with coal powered electric generation. Checking the US government’s Energy Information Administration website, I found that burning coal releases the following:

* Sulfur dioxide SO2. Sulfur Dioxide is linked to acid rain and respiratory illnesses.

* Nitrogen oxides NOx Nitrogen Oxides are also related to acid rain and depletion of the earth’s ozone layer, which protects us from solar radiation.

* Carbon dioxide CO2. Carbon dioxide is the chemical contributing to formation of greenhouse gases which are released into the environment.

* Mercury. Mercury has a whole host of negative effects on the environment and us humans.

Mining coal can have an adverse effect on the environment. Debris from mountain top removal operations have choked mountain streams and contaminated water sources. Removal of the mountain tops has an extremely adverse effect on the eco-systems and communities near the mining operations.

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38 Responses to “Solar Panels-Energy from the Sun”

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  • Seth Hagon says:

    cool post my car uses water fuel instead of normal fuel to drive here is a link to do the same: water fuel

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  • Marcel Sadik says:

    do you think this is a real problem

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  • Very good read, we all take this planet for granted

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  • for homes says:

    Greetings! I’m new to the site. I’ve read several comments about cooling solar panels but I haven’t seen anything about this: Will spraying the hot surface of solar panel glass with cool water break the glass? I am concerned about the sudden temperature change introducing stress to the glass surf.

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  • Mat Broshel says:

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  • Theresa says:

    Why do you think that is the best way?

  • Deb says:

    Just out of curiousity, how long have you been doing this?

  • admin says:

    Doing blogging or writing?

  • admin says:

    In most areas of the world, there is sufficient hours of sunlight to supplement the energy of a typical home. Advances in battery storage and solar panel technology will improve efficiency and bring down costs.

  • Mason says:

    Great post. I find this to be a really fascinating topic and you put a new spin on it for me. Thanks! 🙂

  • admin says:

    Blogging, about a year. With different sites.

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  • Cruz Mckiney says:

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  • Benefit is that solar energy is clean and free… also is limitless. in addition, in the future, you could also be selling the energy that you reap back to the government.

  • Yes you can store the energy from solar panels. The only time I would use batteries to store solar energy, would be if I lived off the grid. The reason is because first, the technology is not quite hear yet, yes it will store, but it’s not very efficient, and it will slowly lose it’s power. Second it’s not really environmentally positive to have a bunch of batteries, you can sometimes recycle these batteries, but it still has a negative impact. Depending on where you live, your power meter should spin backwards when you are away, or not using power, so you should be fine. If you are living off the grid, then it is something I would do.

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