In this post, I’m going to represent some interesting facts about solar energy and how it is being used.
1. Solar energy is created through nuclear fusion reaction at the Sun’s core. Hydrogen atoms fuse to create helium.
2. The distance between the Sun and the Earth is about 150 million km (93 million miles). The average time it takes for the Sun’s rays to reach the Earth is 8 minutes and 20 seconds.
3. About 29 percent of the solar energy that arrives at the top of the atmosphere is reflected back to space. About 23 percent of incoming solar energy is absorbed in the atmosphere, and 48 percent passes through the atmosphere and is absorbed by the Earth’s surface.
4. On average, the total rate of energy from the sun that hits the earth is around 173,000 terawatts (trillions of watts) or 173,000,000,000,000,000 watts. 50 Facts About Solar Energy
5. Sunlight that strikes the Earth for one hour is enough to power the entire planet for one year. Sunlight Striking Earth’s Surface… – EcoWatch
6. Solar energy is the most abundant renewable source of energy in the world. About Solar Energy | SEIA
7. Solar energy is the most sustainable and cleanest resource available. There are no carbon emissions and noise pollution.
8. Solar energy has been used by ancient people. For example, the Greeks and Romans used magnifying glasses to concentrate the light of the sun and burn the sails of enemy ships. The ancient people also used passive solar energy designs to warm their homes.
10. The photovoltaic effect, which converts sunlight into electricity, was first observed by physicist Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel in 1839.
11. Albert Einstein published his paper on the photoelectric effect In 1904. In 1921 Einstein received the Nobel Prize for his theories explaining the photoelectric effect. Photovoltaic History – Key Milestones in the 1900s (Timeline) | Solar Energy – Green Lifestyle for You
12. The space industry was the first market for photovoltaics. In the 1950s, the space industry began to use solar technology to provide power aboard spacecraft. Vanguard 1 is the first artificial earth satellite powered by solar cells. The International Space Station is entirely solar-powered.
13. The first solar-powered automobile was demonstrated in Chicago in 1955. It was a 15-inch Sunmobile built by William G. Cobb of the General Motors Corporation.
14. The first solar-powered calculators were invented in 1978. 50 Facts About Solar Energy
15. Solar energy and solar power are not interchangeably terms. Solar energy includes solar power and solar power means electricity created from the sunlight. It is generated in two ways: using solar (photovoltaic) panels or using concentrating solar power systems.
16. Solar panels work even on cloudy days. They just produce less energy than on sunny days (around 10-25%). Also, solar panels function better at cooler temperatures than the very hot climate.
17. China is the world’s leader in the field of solar energy. By early 2020, China was the leading country for solar power with 208 GW, accounting for one-third of global installed solar capacity. Solar power by country – Wikipedia
18. The United States, Japan, Germany, India are countries that follow China in solar electricity generation. Top 10 Countries in the Solar Electricity Generation All over the World in 2019 | Solar Edition
19. China has a plan to build an orbital power station that would capture solar energy in space and beam it back to Earth. According to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald, they are already testing the technology and they intend to build the station by 2050.
20. Many US states allow solar owners to sell back excess power generated by the sun to the grid, which is called solar net metering.
22. By 2024, the world’s solar capacity will grow by 600 GW, almost double the installed total electricity capacity of Japan. Another prediction state that the US will double its solar installations to four million by 2023. The Growth of Renewable Energy: What Does the Future Hold? | Earth.Org – Past | Present | Future
23. Australia has the highest average solar radiation than any other continent in the world. 50 Facts About Solar Energy
24. India’s Cochin International Airport, the seventh busiest in the country, is the first airport in the world powered entirely by solar energy. In 2015 the airport built a 12-megawatt solar plant that has more than 46,000 solar panels. The solar plant provides all the power the airport needs, and even generates surplus for the state electrical grid, according to the BBC.
25. The world’s largest solar power park is the Pavagada Solar Park in Karnataka, India. The solar park becomes entirely operational in January 2020. World’s largest solar park in Karnataka is now fully operational
26. The world’s first 100% solar-powered five-star resort Finolhu Villas is situated in the Maldives. Designed by New York-based architects Yuji Yamazaki Architecture, the resort was opened in 2016. Tour the World’s First Completely Solar-Powered 5-Star Resort | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel | weather.com
27. The Walt Disney Company built a 50-megawatt solar facility shaped like Mickey Mouse’s head. The solar park has more than a half-million solar panels and produces enough solar energy to fully power two of its four parks at the Walt Disney World Resort in central Florida.
28. An 80-story, 1,273-foot rotating skyscraper powered by wind and sun is being built in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. When it is completed, It will be the first rotating skyscraper the world has ever seen.
29. Wind energy is a form of solar energy. It is created by the movement of air relative to Earth’s surface. This form of energy is generated by the uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun and modified by Earth’s rotation and surface topography. Wind energy | form of solar energy | Britannica
30. An interesting fact is that in 1979 the American President Jimmy Carter installed solar heating panels on the roof of the White House West Wing. It was more as an effort to set an example for the nation during the second US oil crisis.