Using solar technology to harness the sun’s rays is one of the most environmentally friendly methods of gaining electricity. For example, Freedom Solar looked at 50 facts about solar for you to learn more.
1. Solar Power Is the Earth’s Most Abundant Energy Source
More solar power hits the ground in one hour than human beings need for an entire year. PV cells use this clean power source by converting sunlight into electricity.
2. Solar energy is a free source of energy.
Solar power is completely free, available, and abundant. It takes just ten minutes for light to travel ninety million miles from the sun each day, and it occurs continuously every single day.
3. You Can Use Solar Power to Run Your Entire Home
Solar energy is one of the most safe and green ways to provide electricity for homes, offices, factories, schools, hospitals, and more.
Related: Tips for Saving Money on Electricity]
4. Solar energy is comprised of radiant heat and light.
Solar energy is any form of energy that comes from the power of the rays of the solar system. It’s created in sunlight through nuclear fusion, which occurs when the protrons in hydrogen molecules combine into helium nuclei. This process creates radiant heat and visible photons.
5. Solar energy was first used in 7th century BC.
Solar technology has been used since ancient times. It wasn’t until the third century B.C., however, when Greek and Roman civilizations started using mirrors to generate electricity from sunlight.
6. It was officially discovered in 1839.
A few years before the first coal-powered electricity generating plants were constructed, French physicist Alexandre Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect, which states that light hitting a conductor creates an electric charge.
7. It was created in 1954.
Bell Labs invented modern silicon solar cell technology in 1954. Since then their efficiencies have improved more than four times, and the prices have dropped considerably.
8. Solar power generation has become the world’s most popular form of new electricity generation.
Solar energy has rapidly become the preferred type of new electrical energy due to its decreased costs and enhanced performance. By 2022, solar energy will account for nearly half of the United States’ new electrical energy production.
9. Solar power produces no pollution.
Apart from the environmental impact caused by the manufacture of solar panels, solar power is one the cleanest, most sustainable sources of renewable electricity in the world.
Not all panels are made equally. Only SunPower solar panels meet the strictest standards for sustainability and ethics.
10. Solar Power Improves World Health
Burning fossil fuel produces toxic pollution which causes serious harm to human beings, animals, and plants. It also harms our environment.
With solar power, we’re able to generate electricity without using any fossil fuel.
Related: How going solar benefits the environment and public health
11. Solar panels can increase your home value by up to $20,000.
There’s some evidence that installing solar panels increases your house’s resale price by up to $6k/kw of solar panels installed.
Related: What factors affect the sun number score of a house?
12. Solar power helps lower electric bills.
If you’re located in an area where you can take part in net metering, you might be able to get a better deal by selling back any extra electricity that you generate. Even if you choose not to finance, there’s a chance that your monthly loan payment could be lower than your average electric bill because you’ll likely be paying for power that you don’t use.
13. A solar system comes with a warranty.
Solar panels usually come with warranties ranging from 25 to 30 years, which means they last for most of their lifetime.
Freedom Solar provides three 25-year warranties for their solar systems. These include a product guarantee that guarantees the quality of the system; a workmanship guarantee that covers repairs or replacements of defective panels; and a performance guarantee that assures its highest level of energy output.
Related: What to know before installing solar panels]
14. You don’t need to buy solar panels outright.
It doesn’t necessarily mean you need to pay cash for a solar power installation. There are many other options available for obtaining one.
Solar energy systems are affordable, especially when they’re combined with federal and state incentives. You may be able to get low-interest loan options through banks and finance companies.
15. The Earth Gets 174 Petawatts (PW) of Solar Radiation
The Earth absorbs around 1.3 TW of energy per year. The amount of energy received by the Earth is equivalent to the amount of energy emitted by the Sun. Most of this energy comes from the Sun. The remainder is radiated back into outer empty spaces. Of course, the Earth also emits energy as heat through thermal emission and volcanoes.
16. Sunlight helps keep water from evaporating into the air.
As sunlight hits the earth, its energy is converted into heat which warms up the air and ocean waters. These warmer waters then evaporate into clouds and rain, eventually falling back onto the ground where they melt snow and ice and feed rivers and streams.
As warm air moves up from the ocean, it warms and becomes less dense than cold air. Cold air sinks, causing it to rise and form cloud formations. When these cloud formations reach higher elevations, they release their moisture into the atmosphere and rain falls.
17. Solar Energy Indirectly Creates Biomass
Photosynthetic organisms convert solar radiation into chemical bonds using water and carbon dioxide. These chemical bonds create organic compounds called carbohydrates, which ultimately become biomasses (also known as biofuels) that can be burned for heat or electricity production.
Biomass includes wood, agricultural wastes, and forest products. Eventually these materials become fossil fuel.
18. Horticulture and Agriculture Make Maximum Use of Solar Energy
To use solar energy to its full potential requires knowing when to start growing and which plants require different amounts of sun exposure.
Horticulturists and agriculturalists often use greenhouses because they help them grow crops throughout the year.
19. You can heat water using solar energy through solar-powered hot water systems.
Solar-powered hot-tubs can heat up to 140°C (284°F) which is enough to boil most household liquids. These hot tubs account for 60%-70 percent of domestic hot-tap usage.
20. Solar chimneys are passive solar ventilation systems.
They’re a way to create an efficient building using solar power.
Like traditional chimney systems, solar chimney systems use shafts to connect the inside and outside of buildings. They can be enhanced by glazing or using heat absorbing or retaining material such as brick, wood, rock, concrete, steel, or earth soil.
21. Solar energy can help make saline water.
Solar energy can be used to create freshwater from salty ocean waters without using any chemicals or electricity.
22. The sun was used for drying clothes long before electricity became available.
It’s well known than sunshine makes us feel warmer and drier. However, leaving wet laundry out in the open to air dry is the original method for drying our clothing.
23. Solar Energy Can Pasteurize Water
Pasteurizing involves heating or irradiating (using gamma rays) the liquid. It produces the same result as boiling, but takes longer.
A solar oven uses concentrated light energy to heat up water inside a closed vessel. Solar ovens are usually an insulating box with reflective panels on its side to concentrate light energy onto the water contained within.
Solar pasteurization takes place when solar energy hits a material for six minutes at temperatures between 149 and 167 degrees Fahrenheit.
24. Thermal Storage Systems Can Store Solar Energy
Thermal storage systems store solar energy in the form of thermal energy (i.e., temperature) by using different types of thermal storage media. Some examples include rock, soil, liquid salt, and molten salts.
25. The 1970 oil crisis indirectly sparked research into solar technology.
The oil crisis of ’70s showed us how fragile fossil fuel was as an alternate source of power. As a result, research into alternative sources of power, such as solar and wind, started gaining momentum around the globe.
26. Solar energy is recognized as the future of alternative energy.
Solar power is clean, unlike fossil fuels, which help combat climate change and the green house gas (GHG) affect. It’s become increasingly popular as an alternative source of renewable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly electricity.
27. Space missions rely on solar energy for their power supply.
Many people are surprised to learn that the aerospace industry began using photovoltaic (PV) technology to produce electricity in the early 1950s. For instance, the Vanguard 1, which was the first manmade object to use PV technology, has been orbiting Earth since 1957.
Today, various countries also continue to rely on solar energy to power their spacecrafts when they’re launched into outer orbit.
28. Solar energy has become cheaper than ever before.
Thanks to new advances in scientific research and technology; solar energy is becoming more affordable in the near term. Efficiency rates are increasing at an exponential rate.
29. It’s the third most used renewable energy source after wind and hydroelectric power.
Wind power is currently the most prevalent form of renewable electricity in the United States, followed by hydroelectricity. Solar power is the third most prevalent type of renewable electricity.
However, residential solar panels are becoming an increasingly popular way to generate electricity because they’re relatively simple to install and last longer than traditional methods.
30. Planes can fly without using fossil fuels entirely because they use solar energy.
Solar energy can be used to power cars, trains, and even spaceships; but few people realize that it can also power airplanes.
On June 7th, 2016, Bertrand Piccard set out on an attempt to become the first person to circumnavigate the globe using only solar energy. After completing the trip, he returned to Abu Dhabi in July of 2017.
31. The largest solar power plant in the world is located in China.
China has installed the world’s largest solar power plant, generating 205 gigawatts of electricity. It represents their stance as the world’s biggest market for solar power, as well as their goal to eliminate their total greenhouse gas emission by 2060.
32. Solar power is the top energy source for temporary use.
Solar power is the most popular form of renewable electricity because of its abundant supply and ease of use. Temporary mining sites, traveling festivals, and even the Olympics install solar panels at their temporary locations.
33. A calculator powered by solar energy could be used anywhere, anytime.
Calculators using solar energy can be used anywhere there is sunlight. They don’t need batteries since they’re charged by capturing the sun’s energy.
If it’s cloudy outside or inside, solar powered calculators won’t work any faster than regular ones. However, they’ll still collect enough solar energy even when it’s dark out. They only need an hour or two to fully recharge.
34. Solar panels are virtually maintenance free.
They don’t need regular upkeep, and they won’t cost anything after installation. Also, they’ll be able to withstand extreme weather conditions without breaking down.
Related: Can solar panels withstand a hurricane?
35. Solar Power Is Free of Noise Pollution
They’re completely silent and generate zero emissions, so they’re totally environmentally friendly.
36. A solar panel system has five components.
Solar power systems consist of a variety of components including solar cells, batteries, inverters, regulators, and wiring.
It protects the battery from overheating by keeping it cool. The wiring and other components keep everything connected together.
37. A solar battery can provide power for an entire day even when there is no sunlight.
You can buy batteries for your solar panels so you can always use them even if there isn’t enough sunlight. Most people buy these batteries because they want to be able to use their solar panels whenever it gets dark or cloudy.
If you’re looking for an easy way to power up your home during an outage, consider batteries instead of generators.]
38. Solar energy is measured in watts, kilowatts, and kilowatt hours.
kW (kilowatt) is the unit of power; one kilowatt equals 1000 watts. kWh (kilowatt hours), however, isn’t the total wattage you use during an entire day.
If you were to keep a 1,000 W device running for one hour, you’d use up 1kWh of electricity.
39. As of 2017, solar energy generated 26 terawatt hours (TWh) in the United States.
Renewable power generation made up 26 percent of the total 98 terawatt hours (tW) of renewable power generated in the United States in 2015.
40. Between 2010 and 2017, global solar photovoltaic electricity generation increased by 145 terawatt hours (t
Solar power generation grew by 145 terawatt hours (kwh) between 2020 and 2021.
41. Solar Energy Is Used to Fuel Public Transit
Bus drivers are increasingly relying on solar energy to charge their batteries. They don’t install solar panels on the busses themselves, but instead place them on top of bus stops to capture sunlight and store electricity for later use.
Buses can plug into electric car chargers and charge their battery packs during off hours. Consumers are also buying solar panels for homes and installing them onto residential electricity grids.