Today, harnessing the sun’s power is achieved through the use of photovoltaics. These are solar cells that transform sunlight into electricity. The solar cells contain a semiconductor material, typically silicon. On exposure to sun rays, it soaks up photons and loosens the electrons. This creates an electric current that is directed through metal contacts at the top and bottom of the cell. This current can power small devices such as calculators or be used to light homes and businesses. Larger photovoltaic systems are also used to power buildings and to provide electricity for remote communities and weather or communications satellites.

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Solar energy provides a source of thermal energy too. The sun’s radiation warms materials throughout the day, and at sunset, those materials release their heat back into the atmosphere. This natural process is the basis for solar heating and cooling technologies, as well as a number of passive solar energy techniques. For more details on Solar Panel Installation Weston, contact a company like

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The sun can be used to generate electricity through concentrating solar power. In previous designs of concentrating solar power, the sun’s radiation heated a container of water, which then powered a turbine. Today, solar power towers use liquid sodium in place of water. This allows a higher temperature to be maintained for longer and thus generate more electricity from a given amount of sunlight.

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