How a Pacific Island Changed From Diesel to 100% Solar Power loading...
How a Pacific Island Changed From Diesel to 100% Solar Power
The island of Ta'u in American Samoa now boasts a solar microgrid from Tesla's SolarCity.
Historic Solar Flight Shows Promise and Challenge of Clean Energy loading...
Historic Solar Flight Shows Promise and Challenge of Clean Energy
Completing the first trip around the world exclusively on solar power, the experimental Solar Impulse shows what’s possible in energy and flight.
Solar Impulse Attempts Epic Atlantic Crossing in Trip Around World loading...
Solar Impulse Attempts Epic Atlantic Crossing in Trip Around World
The experimental solar plane takes on another challenging leg of its historic journey.
About Solar Power

Solar energy is the technology used to harness the sun's energy and make it useable. As of 2011, the technology produced less than one tenth of one percent of global energy demand.

Many are familiar with so-called photovoltaic cells, or solar panels, found on things like spacecraft, rooftops, and handheld calculators. The cells are made of semiconductor materials like those found in computer chips. When sunlight hits the cells, it knocks electrons loose from their atoms. As the electrons flow through the cell, they generate electricity.

On a much larger scale, solar-thermal power plants employ various techniques to concentrate the sun's energy as a heat source. The heat is then used to boil water to drive a steam turbine that generates electricity in much the same fashion as coal and nuclear power plants, supplying electricity for thousands of people.

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