How is Solar Power Made?

Solar power is arguably an everyday household name.  The use of the sun’s rays for energy is nothing new or cutting edge, although the methods used for collection and solar power testing are constantly being updated. But have you ever stopped to wonder how it works?

How do you turn simple heat that has been beating down on the earth since before the existence of humans, into an energy source that lights our houses, runs our air conditioners, and powers the TV?  How does a simple reflective panel use natural light for large scale operations like factories and medical product testing?  The answer is a simple: the laws of nature.  By capturing and breaking down what already happens naturally, solar energy helps to reduce pollution in the environment while still providing us with the electricity we need to survive day to day. But … can it really be that easy?

From sun rays to electricity…

There are a few ways that sunlight can be made into electricity.  One, and possibly the easiest, is through the use of solar cells, (also known as photovoltaic, PV or photoelectric).  These cells transfer sunlight directly into electricity, minimizing and streamlining the process.

A second way of turning the sun’s rays into power is slightly more complicated. The solar panels first collect the natural light that reflects from the sun. Simple so far, right? The heat from those rays is then transferred into a synthetic oil. Oil is used, rather than water, so that the boiling pressure can be controlled because the heat can reach astonishing levels.  The oil then circulates and is transferred into power.  This is more commonly used when energy needs to be stockpiled after an extremely hot and sunny day.

One more type of solar power that can be used is solar heating.  Buildings can be constructed with glass ceilings to absorb heat and minimize its need for a central heating system.  Black pipes can also be placed near glass ceiling or wall panels in order to heat a unit’s water.

Depending on what type of energy collecting is used, the maintenance and upkeep may differ.  This includes solar power testing to ensure that the equipment is working properly and efficiently.  However, all solar power units should be cleaned on a fairly regular basis because it is easier to collect and reflect energy on a clean panel surface.  A dirty or smudged surface will interfere with this process, making it less likely that each panel operates at its highest efficiency possible.

All of the abovementioned forms of collecting and producing solar energy are efficient alternatives for providing electricity that are environmentally-friendly.

This guest post is brought to you by Michelle Anderson, a blogger who enjoys writing about solar power testing and FCC approval.

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