Cause and Effect Solar Energy

Topics: Sun, Energy, Renewable energy Pages: 2 (665 words) Published: November 29, 2012
Cause/Effect: Solar Energy
Solar radiation is an energy resource many times larger than mankind’s energy needs. Mankind has been able to capture/harness this energy resource, but only on a limited scale. Mankind has found that the use of the sun was quite useful. They used it to grow and dry crops, dry clothing, produce heat, and for light. The sun is a sphere, on the inside of the sun there is a continuous process of fusion in which hydrogen nuclei combine to from helium nuclei. There is less helium than that of hydrogen, which allows the sun to create energy. The energy is then radiated out of the surface of the sun, in which only a small portion is intercepted by plant earth. Just outside of the earth’s atmosphere, approximately 93 million miles from the sun, has the intensity of radiation of about 1.36 kilowatts per square foot. This process is also called the Solar Constant.

This energy is absorbed, dispersed, and reflected by the atmosphere; beaming its radiation to earth’s ground. Almost half of this energy is visible light, approximately half is infrared radiation, and a very small portion of it is ultraviolet radiation. There are many ways to convert this energy. Some use it to heat their water and homes; some convert it to Electrical Energy. Most of the world’s energy needs have been met by converting solar energy into its electrical or mechanical forms. Electrical energy conversion of solar energy can be quite expensive. Much more than it would be to convert into thermal energy, but worth it in the long run.

Solar panels or solar cells have been created to convert solar energy into mechanical energy, which can then be converted into electrical energy or used directly. This green energy alternative would cause a reduction in our environmental impact because it has less physical impact on the environment. They also help reduce the level of greenhouse gases produced and would decrease the demands of fossil fuels. Without a reliable, yet sustainable...
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