The word Solar is the Latin word for Sun and explaining how Solar Energy works really depends on the way it is used and for what purpose.  In basic terms, it is the capturing of  the suns energy, light or heat to be converted into usable or workable energy.

There are 2 ways of converting solar energy into workable energy.

Solar Thermal: Solar Thermal uses the energy from the sun in order to generate heat for water and buildings via solar panels

Photovoltaic: Photovoltaic method converts the suns energy into electricity via DC power.  It is then converted to AC power to be used as electricity

To further explain Solar Energy, visit one of the great resources below:

  • Alternate Energy Sources :  This site is a great resource that explains everything from Solar Energy to Geothermal Energy and everything in between
  • American Solar Energy Society : A 50 year old company that focuses on how all of us can get involved and start thinking differently about Solar Energy
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory : Created by the US Department of Energy, this site focuses on education and research involved in harnessing Solar energy
  • Energy Kids : Created by the US Energy Information Administration, this site is a wonderful website created specifically for teaching children the importance of Renewable Solar Energy.
  • Bill Nye The Science Guy : Always a great resource for children as well as adults, Bill Nye explains in detail about how Solar Energy is used to heat water and buildings, as well as provide electricity to our homes

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