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Word Count: 1,475
About 47 percent of the energy that the sun releases to the earth actually reachesthe ground About a third is reflected directly back into space by the atmosphere Thetime in which solar energy is available is also the time we least need it least - daytime Because the suns energy cannot be stored for use another time we need to convert thesuns energy into an energy that can be stored One possible method of storing solar energy is by heating water that can beinsulated The water is heated by passing it through hollow panels Black-coated stealplates are used because dark colors absorb heat more efficiently However this method only supplies enough energy for activities such as washingand bathing The solar panels generate low grade heat that is they generate lowtemperatures for the amount of heat needed in a day In order to generate high gradeheat intense enough to convert water into high-pressure steam which can then be used toturn electric generators there must be another method The concentrated beams of sunlight are collected in a device called a solar furnacewhich acts on the same principles as a large magnifying glass The solar furnace takes thesunlight from a large area and by the use of lenses and mirrors can focus the light into avery small area Very elaborate solar furnaces have machines that angle the mirrors andlenses to the sun all day This system can provide sizable amounts of electricity and createextremely high temperatures of over 6000 degrees FahrenheitSolar energy generators are very clean little waste is emitted from the generatorsinto the environment The use of coal oil and gasoline is a constant drain economicallyand environmentally Will solar energy be the wave of the future Could the worlds requirement of energy be fulfilled by the powerhouse of our galaxy - the sun Automobiles in the future will probably run on solar energy and houses will have solarSolar cells today are mostly made of silicon one of
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