Fun Fact 2: Solar energy has many different and very important functions. This type of energy can be used to heat, dry and cook without harming our atmosphere. Fossil fuels also supply us with an energy source, however fossil fuels produces Carbon dioxide which is very harmful to our atmosphere.
Fun Fact 3: What are the uses of solar energy? Although solar energy has many different uses, all of these uses can be separated into two simple categories - heating and electricity.
Fun Fact 4: Heating produced from solar energy is also known as 'thermal energy'. The energy from the sun can be used to heat our homes, water, food, swimming pools, offices, showers, buildings and many other places and things. Can you think of some?
Fun Fact 5: Electricity can be produced from sunlight through the use of solar panels - also known as photovoltaics (the meaning of this word can be broken down: photo = light, voltaics = electricity). This is currently quite expensive as the use of solar panels is fairly new, hopefully this will change in later years in order to preserve other types of fuels which may eventually run out.
Fun Fact 6: The amount of solar energy produced depends on the weather and which part of the world you live in. Some parts of the world have longer daylight hours of sunlight than others. The climate differs throughout the seasons and different parts of the world. On a clear day, more sunlight will get through, where as on a cloudy or misty day, the amount of solar energy will be limited as there will be less exposure to sunshine. In simple terms, the more sunlight available, the more energy produced.
Fun Fact 7: Solar energy can be stored in a battery to enable a constant flow during night time hours, or days and winter months when the weather conditions (visibility) is poor and less sunshine is available.
Fun Fact 8: There are certain devices which are powered by solar energy that you will have heard of, or you may own. Such devices may include solar powered calculators or watches. Do you have any solar powered toys or devices?
Fun Fact 9: Solar energy is less harmful than other sources such as oil, gas and coal. This type of energy doesn't pollute the environment. It doesn't produce smoke or harmful chemicals.
Fun Fact 10: The deserts can produce enough solar energy to cover the amount of energy required across the world. There are some solar energy power plants which have been built; many of them are located in the deserts.
Fun Fact 11: Solar panels can be placed on the roofs of houses to produce electricity within the home. (Sunlight is converted to electricity). It takes a lot of panels to run a household. The panels must be positioned to receive as much sunlight as possible. Batteries are used to store solar energy required during the night or during poor climate conditions.
Fun Fact 12: Solar cookers do not require electricity or gas, they run on sunlight, therefore, they are much cheaper to use and better for the environment. Solar cooking can be particularly important for poorer countries as many important functions can be carried out for free.
Fun Fact 13: Is solar energy a renewable source? Yes solar energy is regarded as an important source of renewable energy.
Fun Fact 14: The light and heat from the sun provides solar energy, however, this type of energy can be converted to other types of energy including electrical and thermal.
Fun Fact 15: How long it takes to radiate energy into the universe? The energy from the sun takes millions of years to reach the sun's surface but this energy is transferred to Earth in a matter of minutes!