Some Interesting Solar Power Facts To Ponder
Solar power has had a long an interesting history that many people are unaware of when they start considering it for their home. There are many interesting solar power facts that can help you better understand the progress this amazing technology has made in the last 100 years.
Solar power provides several ways to convert the power the sun provides for free into electricity and heat you can use in your home to lower your monthly expenses. Even though these solar conversion systems have been available for decades, the rising cost of fuel and power is forcing many homeowners to give them a second look in recent years. Their timing is perfect since these systems have come down significantly in price and are much more efficient as well. These benefits combined with the generous rebate programs and tax incentives available make this the perfect time to invest in a solar power system for any homeowner. To better illustrate the concept of solar power conversion and the savings it can provide, here are a few interesting solar power facts to consider.
- The energy the sun provides for free to the earth everyday can be used to generate both electrical and thermal energy for the average home and help them eliminate their monthly energy bills completely.
- One of the more sobering solar power facts is that in one hour, the earth receives more energy than the entire planet consumes in a full year. The sad part of this statistic is that very little of this free energy is currently being converted for use. Even though the technology exists to harvest this power, it is only being used by a very small portion of the world's population.
- Even though most people consider solar power conversion to be a fairly recent invention, Leonardo da Vinci had plans for solar concentrators in some of his notebooks as far back as the 15th century. Another one of the related solar power facts is that similar technology to the type described in his notes is in commercial use today and producing large amounts of commercial power.
- The very first solar collector was invented by a Swiss scientist named Horace de Saussure in 1767. It was called the "hot box" and was able collect solar energy that was used to heat water in the system.
- The solar constant is a measure of how much solar radiation reaches earth each day. Since space is essential a vacuum there is little loss in the travel of this solar radiation until it reaches Earth's upper atmosphere. As it travels through our atmosphere as much as 15% of it is reflected and another 35% is lost to clouds and dust in the air. This means less than 50% of the solar radiation that is showered upon our planet ever strikes a solar panel and is converted to useful power.
- In recent years the average cost of a solar panel has dropped by between 3% and 5% each year. At the same time the production of these same solar panels has increased by an average of 18% a year worldwide.
- Another group of solar power facts deal with the sun itself. It takes 8 minutes and 17 seconds for the suns light to reach earth through the vacuum of space. The sun is 109 times larger than the earth and is about 4.5 billion years old. Most scientists estimate that the sun is about half its age and will survive for another 5 billion years before expanding and engulfing the earth in a fiery demise. This is one of the solar power facts that none of us will have to worry about. :-)
Hope you enjoyed these solar power facts!
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