Solar Energy: What do we Really Know?

Solar Energy: Do we really know what it’s all about?

Take the quiz below to see what YOU know about solar energy! You might be surprised to see there’s a lot the public (that means you) doesn't know.

Take the quiz below to see what YOU know about solar energy! You might be surprised to see there’s a lot the public (that means you) doesn’t know.

True or False   Solar energy is wicked expensive using it is not even worth it when you do the math

True or False   Devices that convert sunlight directly into electricity are called photovoltaic

True or False     There are thousands of solar power plants in the United States today

True or False    The energy we get from all of the world’s reserves of coal, oil and natural gas can be matched by just 20 days’ supply of sunshine.

True or False     Solar panels can’t be used in space because the sun’s rays are too strong there and it interferes with the machines actual function

 

ANSWERS!

FALSE

They do have high investment cost but once installed they have almost no variable costs, meaning they don’t need to be kept or maintained. “The cost of a solar panel is determined in part by the size (in Watts), the physical size, the brand, quality of materials, the durability / longevity (or warranty period) and any certifications the solar panel might have(1)”.

TRUE

Photovoltaic devices aka SOLAR CELLS are used in places with no electrical grid connections (1)

FALSE

There are only 15 known solar power plants in the US. 10 are found in the sunny state of California and 5 in Arizona…Kind of small if you ask me 😦 (2)

TRUE

The sun’s energy in the earth’s atmosphere contains about 1,300 watts per square meter. The energy of sunlight on earth has about 1,000 watts per square meter at noon on a cloudless day. Averaged over the entire surface of the planet, 24 hours per day for a year, each square meter collects the approximate energy equivalent of almost a barrel of oil each year, or 4.2 kilowatt-hours of energy every day.(2)

FALSE

Solar panels are what powers our satellites in space. “All of them (satellites) have a source of power (usually solar cells) and batteries for storage. Arrays of solar cells provide power to charge rechargeable batteries. (3)”

1) Solar Pricing. Solarcity. Web.  27 Oct. 2013

http://www.solarcity.com/residential/solar-pricing.aspx

2) How solar energy works. Union of Concerned Scientist. Web. 16 Dec. 2009. http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/our-energy-choices/renewable-energy/how-solar-energy-works.html

3) How Satellites Work. Howstufffworks. http://science.howstuffworks.com/satellite5.htm

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