Our existence on earth is nourished by the sun and the light and heat it emulates. Solar energy travels to earth by way of electromagnetic radiation kind of comparable to the way radio waves are transmitted through the air. Heat and light are the primary forms of solar energy utilized by the earth and are the foundation for our existence. Simply stated we would not exist without light and heat submitted by the sun.

Our sources of conventional energy are not nearly as advantageous as solar energy for many reasons. The sun provides abundant energy that is free other than costs associated with harnessing and recovering this enormous source. Even these costs are recovered much faster than costs associated with conventional and environmentally dirty conventional energy sources. With solar power there are no connections to power grids as needed for electricity or natural gas, it operated independently. Solar power has no limitations and it is completely clean and free of any pollutants or emissions that are contributing to the deterioration of earth’s atmosphere.

We are aware of the potentials and opportunities offered by solar energy it is essential that technologies needed to efficiently recover this plentiful source need to be advanced and perfected. Some of these methodologies are briefly explained here as solar energy collection takes on numerous processes.

Focusing Collectors: This method uses movable mirrors called heliostats which collects heat from the sun and can generate temperature readings approaching 4000 degrees C. Industry and research are then able to use solar furnaces which of course do not provide harmful byproducts to our environment. The heliostats transfer the collected energy to a boiler which then converts water into steam. This method can also be used for the generation of solar electricity. Focusing collectors along with photovoltaic cells, constructed with thin layers of semiconductors, are able create electricity through the conversion of radiation from the sun.

Flat Plate Collectors: These collectors are usable for residential and commercial purposes, now seen in many homes and even schools. This method generates heat through the use of water as passed through a piping system. They are smaller than focusing collectors and cannot generate the generate as much heat.

Solar distillation: This method is similar to flat plate collectors but generates distilled water instead of heat. Large tanks or ditches are used as holding sites for sea water and in the heat generated by the sun the water is evaporated and the water vapors are converted into distilled water.

Demand and supply of fuel, such as the case with our fossil fuels, does not impact solar energy as it is abundant daily and is completely clean and pure. This of course results in improved health and no environmental side effects. The use of solar power and our quest to perfect and expand the collections methods for improved energy efficiency is inspirational on many levels.

It is much cheaper to utilize solar energy than for electricity and gas sources used for heat generation. Gas and electricity offer lower front end costs but they require ongoing costs to maintain their supply. With global demand for energy continuously growing the financial costs and environmental costs for gas and electricity are not even comparable to any developmental costs associated with solar energy. The development of collection methods for harnessing solar power must continue to be supported and supplanted as the reduction of effects on the environment, just from the supplementation of a clean solar energy source, can not be overstated.

For a resident family who plans on staying in their home for a significant amount of time can find great benefit from installing solar power collection onto its house. There is a significant initial investment to convert to solar power but there will be no need to pay for regular gas or electricity sources. The savings for this conversion is seen monthly in the form of eliminated power bills. We are fortunate to have solar power available to us today and we can continue to reduce our dependency on conventional energy sources as long as the sun keeps on shining.