Solar Energy By katherine and Tristian

Power Lines

Solar power is the radiant energy of the sun that has enormous potential. 1 hour of sunlight contains more energy than all coal, oil, natural gas, and other energy sources consumed by society in an entire year.

Passive Solar Heating House

Sources and Supplies: There are 2 different types of technologies: Passive Solar Technologies (use energy of sunlight w/o the use of electrical or mechanical devices) and Active Solar Technologies (use mechanical devices to heat water and buildings or electrical devices to generate energy) Solar panels are example of active solar technology

Solar Panel

Photovoltaic Technology (a.k.a PV Cells) convert light energy into electricity by using a certain material such as silicon to release electrons when hit with light energy. When sunlight strikes the 1st silicon plate it emits electrons that get sent to the 2nd plate that creates the electrical current.

How PV Cells work

What is our technology?

Passive Solar Heating

What is passive solar heating?: The cheapest and easiest way to heat your home! The home is built to retain heat in the winter and keep it cool in the summer. It uses strategically placed windows and walls to absorb heat.

Diagram of passive solar heating system

How it Works

Passive solar heating works by having windows (aperture) allow sunlight into the house. A wall, masonry wall, or floor (absorber) capture the solar energy. The energy would then be collected by thermal masses underneath the absorbers. The thermal masses would then distribute the heat as needed throughout the building either by itself or with the assistance of blowers and fans.

Advantages and Disadvantages


  • Low initial costs or long term payback period!
  • Solar energy is widely available and very few environmental impacts
  • Generating lots of jobs (already employs 20,000 people and is growing 35% a year)


  • It's not always sunny so you would not always be able to get the solar energy necessary
  • PV solar systems are expensive upfront ($10,000- $20,000 for medium sized house)
  • Electricity derived from solar power is more expensive ($0.25- 0.30) than electricity derived from other sources

Future Development

  • Solar energy use will grow as costs decrease.
  • In the past 17 years, production of PV cells has increased by 40%.
  • By 2020, solar energy will make up to 20% of the US energy portfolio
  • in 2006, US Department of Energy launched the Solar America Initiative that will expand the use of solar energy and make it a competitive with other forms of energy

Impact on Climate Change

  • It will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels
  • We will release less local air pollutants and greenhouse gases into the air and atmosphere
Created By
Katherine Ragusa


Created with images by AdinaVoicu - "sunset birds cloud" • Brilith - "Electricty" • Jeremy Levine Design - "Pocket Courtyard" • kateausburn - "Solar Panels in Maules Creek" • gr33n3gg - "Sun" • seagul - "renewable energy environment"

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