With climate change the great threat to mankind and the planet in our century, engineers, scientists and governments are racing to achieve green renewable energy generation as an alternative to traditional fossils fuels like oil, gas and coal. For the last decade the main contenders in the renewable energy sector have been wind and solar power, but what if the answer to our energy crisis in future decades is to be found not here on earth but out there in space? What if we could one day generate billions of times more power than we currently need by harnessing the energy of solar wind? Continue reading →
The world has gone mad for solar power and panels, with governments throwing money at solar schemes left, right and center while celebrities espouse the qualities of this seemingly magical green energy source. Although you’re probably sharp enough to realize that solar power must mean that the sun is involved in the power generating process, you might be keen to learn more about this increasingly popular energy source.
Solar power systems use a series of photovoltaic (PV) cells contained within a flat, shiny panel. The cells are made up of two charged layers, in balance, wrapped inside a semi-conductive material like silicon. When sunlight hits the cells, the balanced charged layers are knocked out of sync: this causes electrons to move between the layers, generating an electrical current and voila – solar power is created. Continue reading →