Every living thing on earth needs the natural fuel the sun produces. The sun has been considered by many the life force of our planet. Without the energy of the sun, plants cannot perform photosynthesis and they die. Humans also need sun exposure to provide vitamins that are vital to a healthy human system.
Over the past several decades, scientists have been looking for more ways to use the bountiful energy the sun provides to the earth every day. When the sun comes into contact with a person, the energy manifests in the heat we feel from its rays hitting our bodies because at a molecular level a chemical reaction occurs that causes the electrons to vibrate and this vibration creates heat. Scientists have discovered that the sun’s rays sometimes produce an even more extreme reaction when other substances are exposed to its energy. This discovery, led to the idea that it might be possible to capture the suns energy and convert it into usable electricity to power our modern living.
One of the most conductive substances is silicon. When the sun’s rays combine with silicon it causes a reaction that creates an immediate electrical current. The electrons that make up silicon crystals are highly reactive when they are exposed to sunlight and actively move around. These properties make silicone the ideal material of choice for use in solar energy technology. The only downside is the cost of the materials. The process required to grow crystals large enough for use in solar panels is very expensive. So scientists have started testing other materials in an attempt to lower the cost of this exciting new eco-friendly energy source.
Solar panels contain materials that are able to convert the sun’s energy into usable electricity. These panels are usually mounted on the roof of a building or in an area that gets a large amount of sun each day. One of the biggest challenges that has kept solar power from becoming a wide spread energy source for homeowners is a lack of ability to store the energy being created. When light hits the silicone or other material it is immediately converted into electricity that has to be used up either directly by the homeowner or to charge a battery. The size and scope of a battery needed to operate an entire home would be massive. Many of these problems are being solved as you read this making solar power an extremely viable option for homeowners in the near future. Currently installing solar panels will greatly reduce your energy costs.
In the future, many scientists hope they will be able to find more effective ways to store the energy the sun provides and also create solar panels that can convert even more of the sun’s energy into power. Right now, the average homeowner can install panels on their home that are capable of converting around fifteen to eighteen percent of the daily sun’s energy into power for use in their homes. There are solar panels being built that can convert as much as fifty percent of the energy into usable power, but these are extremely expensive and usually only used for government projects and research.