Solar energy facts can be mind-blowingly interesting. In this world of ever-developing technology, it is no surprise finding all sorts of technologies even for alternative energy. Solar energy is one of the most promising prospects in its field. Understanding how to harness its power can be our key to unlock a better and cleaner future of our energy sources. This article will explain several interesting facts about solar power that you might have never heard of before. Hopefully, this article can change your perspective on solar energy and give you better understanding on how the alternative energy works.
Some facts That You Need to Know about Solar Energy
1. Solar power has an incredible amount of potential
When it comes to solar energy, we are talking about a massive kind of power. If we were about to sum up all of the absorbed solar power in this planet’s atmosphere, we will get 10^18 joules of energy. This amount of power is equivalent to the size of 2011 Japan’s Tohoku earthquake but think of 2.7 million of earthquakes instead of just one. It is also 8,000 times bigger than the energy consumption of people in the whole world. So we’re talking about that big of amount. Sadly, it is impossible to harness such amount of energy to the fullest. Realistically speaking, we cannot fully unlock its whole potential with our current technology.
2. It promotes green technology and eco-friendliness, BUT…
Solar energy is definitely greener than any other conventional methods of generating usable energy. Energy sources such as coal and fossil fuels are pale in comparison to solar power. But, here’s a catch; the production of solar panel equipment are still not very eco-friendly. In fact, greenhouse gases emissions do take place when the equipment of solar panels are manufactured. The same thing can also be said to recycling and disposing its by-products. With each manufacturing of powerful equipment, there will be consequences to that. This is something that still presents problems to most solar technologies.
3. Aircraft powered by solar energy!
This one is already a thing. NASA has been working on it ever since 1980’s. Helios Prototype, Pathfinder, and its more developed version, Pathfinder plus are results of this. The Helios Prototype managed to set up the altitude record up to 96,863 ft. back in 2001. It is the highest peak of altitude this kind of aircraft has managed to reach so far.
4. Nuclear Fusion=Solar Energy
Nuclear energy is a name used to describe methods of harnessing energy via processes of nuclear fission and fusion. Conventional reactors of nuclear power depends on uranium atoms fission to generate heat that could be converted into electricity. Such fission releases a large amount of heat, but it is still pale in comparison to the fusion’s potential. Imagine the energy used to power the stars and our sun. That is how big the result of fusion could be. You can even say that solar power is like the holy grail of energy sources. It can generate a big, long-lasting energy sources for all of our needs.
5. But the sun is not eternal!
That’s true. But you don’t need to worry much about it. When the energy of the sun depletes, it will turn the fiery orb into a massive giant that will swallow earth (and surrounding planets, really). But it is still long way to go before it happens. We have about 5 until 6 billion years top before our sun met its demise.
All in All…
Our sun is a great source of energy! And there has been plenty of technologies developed to harness such power. Yet, we are still long way to go from ideal. Thus concludes our article about solar energy facts today. Hopefully, in later years, we get to witness a better version of this technology!