Have you thought about switching to solar energy? I mean beyond, a half hearted grumble as you are paying your electricity bill?
Have a look at these solar power facts; it might just start you thinking about a better way to get power to your home.
You see our current system for powering your toaster, TV, stereo, water heater, electric blankets and fan heater relies on using fossil fuels. These are fuels like coal and oil and, as the name suggests, these take about a million years to create. When they were first discovered they were the answer to many questions and opened up a whole new age in human development.
They are costly to mine and convert to energy. In fact these processes are also helping to destroy the very environment that created them and that we are trying to live in. But the real bad news is that they are running out. This is also causing all sorts of chaos that we don't have time to get into here.
So back to our solar power facts. These are really interesting for a number of reasons. It'll show you just how long people have been aware of this ability to harness the sun, how accessible and cost effective it is and most importantly, what the future is for solar energy.
Ok, here we go;
1 - It takes 8 minutes 19 seconds for light to travel from the sun's surface to earth.
That's 8 minutes, 19 seconds, (give or take a second) to get from the sun to your solar panel and into your system. Compare that to the hundreds of thousands of years that it takes your average barrel of oil to be created. This then needs to be mined, barreled and processed so that it becomes around 4.2 gallons of gasoline. I don't know how long that all takes. But I'm pretty sure that it can not compete with a ray from the sun.
2 – People have been aware of the power of the sun for centuries
In 1767 Swiss scientist, Horace de Saussure invented the first solar energy collector; he called it a 'hot box'. This was so useful that in the 1830s astronomer John Herschel used his 'hot box' to cook his food during a trip to Africa.
In 1921 Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his research involving solar energy and photovoltaics. In fact even as far back as 1447 the great Da Vinci foresaw a place in our society for a solar industry.
3 – Solar Power is powerful enough to run the world.
Every hour there is enough sunlight hitting the earth to be able to power us for a year. In effect, if we covered a tiny bit of the Sahara desert with solar panels, we could literally give power to the whole world.
4 – It is already being used
As far back as 1990 a solar powered aircraft flew more than 4000km across the United States using nothing more than solar power. And you know all those TV and communications satellites that are floating around in space – guess what is powering them? Yup, solar panels.
5 – It is sustainable and has a bright future
Well, OK, solar energy is not strictly sustainable, the sun will run out of fuel, but scientists estimate that we have around 5 billion years to find another alternative fuel source.
In this century the demand for solar power has increased phenomenally. This has created a real need for research and the development of products and panels that can cope with the demand of our lifestyles while being available at a lower cost than original commercial systems. Governments around the world are recognizing this and offering incentives to research and development as well as subsidies for those who want to build using solar power.
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