Eco-Living Magazine

Useful Facts on Solar Energy

Posted on the 27 April 2011 by Derick Ajumni
Solar Energy as we  know is usually measured in kWh (kilo watt hours). To put this in perspective, energy measured at 1 KWh can burn a 100 watt light bulb for up to 10 hrs, and is comparable to burning 170 pounds of coal. Imagine that!!
Now let's fly back into history and visit Albert Einstein. Albert was instrumental to Solar technology for his experiments with solar energy and photovoltaics which landed him the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics. Even further back in time; Leonardo da Vinci during his work at the Vatican, would use concave shaped mirrors to heat water. Doesn't that make you think of Solar Hot Water system?
Useful Facts on Solar EnergyBack to our time and maybe in the near future, we may be able to use Silicon extracted from say a ton of sand and incorporate them into solar panels to produce electricity equal to burning 500,000 ton of coal. Now how about that?!
That said, here are some interestingly 'geeky' facts on Solar Energy:
In full sun, you can safely assume that about 1367 watts (W) reaches each square meter (m2) of the Outer Edge of the Earth's Atmosphere. The Atmosphere absorbs, reflects, and diffuses a portion of the energy, and 1000 W/m2 is the amount of energy that reaches sea level on a clear day at high noon. This condition is for an air mass = 1.5. As the sun follows its path in the sky, the air mass increases and the amount of energy that makes it to a given location is less than 1000 W/m2.
Reference: New York Post, Wed, April 13, 2011

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