are a few different ways of collecting solar power. Sunlight can be
turned into electricity through the use of photovoltaic cells. This
is popular because solar panels can be installed onto roofs, or anywhere
that it is sunny. They are well suited for cities and urban environments
where space is limited, and can also be set up in vast fields to create
Solar power is not always converted to electricity though. A passive
solar collector is often used to heat up water for bathing and swimming
pools. Sunlight can be converted very easily into heat, and that heat
can be converted to electricity. Some solar collectors rely on fields
of angled mirrors with a tower in the center. These mirrors direct sunlight
onto the top of the tower which contains a large mass of salt. When
the salt becomes molten (4500 degrees F) it can be used to heat water
and drive a steam turbine.
Solar power is incredibly abundant, it is just difficult to harness.
Everywhere the sun shines could potentially be generating power. Installing
every roof in California would create enough power for the entire world.
With recent developments lowering cost and improving efficiency solar
power is sure to be a major player in the energy markets of the future
if not today.