solar power

solar power use

Solar energy has been used for power on a small scale for hundreds of years, and plants have used it for billions of years. Unlike energy from fossil fuels, which almost always come from a central power plant or refinery, solar power can be harnessed locally (Figure 1.1). A set of solar panels on a homes rooftop can be used to heat water for a swimming pool or can provide electricity to the house. Societys use of solar power on a larger scale is just starting to increase. Scientists and engineers have very active, ongoing research into new ways to harness energy from the Sun more efficiently. Because of the tremendous amount of incoming sunlight, solar power is being developed in the United States in southeastern California, Nevada, and Arizona. Solar panels supply power to the Interna- tional Space Station. Solar power plants turn sunlight into electricity using a large group of mirrors to focus sunlight on one place, called a receiver (Figure 1.2). A liquid, such as oil or water, flows through this receiver and is heated to a high temperature by the focused sunlight. The heated liquid transfers its heat to a nearby object that is at a lower temperature through a process called conduction. The energy conducted by the heated liquid is used to make electricity. This solar power plant uses mirrors to focus sunlight on the tower in the center. The sunlight heats a liquid inside the tower to a very high temperature, producing energy to make electricity.



consequences of solar power use

Solar energy has many benefits. It is extremely abundant, widespread, and will never run out. But there are problems with the widespread use of solar power. Sunlight must be present. Solar power is not useful in locations that are often cloudy or dark. However, storage technology is being developed. The technology needed for solar power is still expensive. An increase in interested customers will provide incentive for companies to research and develop new technologies and to figure out how to mass-produce existing technologies (Figure 1.3). Solar panels require a lot of space. Fortunately, solar panels can be placed on any rooftop to supply at least some of the power required for a home or business. This experimental car is one example of the many uses that engineers have found for solar energy. Click image to the left or use the URL below. URL: Click image to the left or use the URL below. URL:


solar energy

Energy from the Sun comes from the lightest element, hydrogen, fusing together to create the second lightest element, helium. Nuclear fusion on the Sun releases tremendous amounts of solar energy. The energy travels to the Earth, mostly as visible light. The light carries the energy through the empty space between the Sun and the Earth as radiation.

instructional diagrams

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the source of solar power is nuclear

a) fission.

b) oxidation

-->  c) fusion.

d) reduction

solar energy through the empty space between the sun and earth as __.

a) darkness

b) radio waves

c) heat

-->  d) radiation

the sun is the source of energy in

-->  a) fossil fuels.

b) nuclear power.

c) geothermal energy.

d) none of these.

one of the advantages of solar power over traditional energy source is that solar power

-->  a) can be harnessed locally.

b) is much less expensive.

c) keeps people in refineries employed.

d) all of these.

the southwestern u.s. is a hotspot for solar energy because the region receives a lot of sunlight.

-->  a) true

b) false

in a solar power plant, the sunlight is focused onto a receiver by a group of

a) lenses.

b) slides.

-->  c) mirrors.

d) none of these.

in a solar power plant, a liquid flowing through a receiver, is heated by

a) conduction.

-->  b) focused sunlight.

c) direct sunlight.

d) convection.

heat is transferred from the liquid to a nearby object through the process called

a) nuclear power

-->  b) conduction

c) production

d) construction

limitations of solar power is include

a) the technology is expensive.

b) storing the energy is difficult.

c) solar panels take up a lot of space.

-->  d) all of the above

in the future, cars may be able to run on solar energy.

-->  a) true

b) false

diagram questions

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