Although we rarely look at the sun, its presence can be felt everywhere. You might feel it on the back of your head as you walk down the street, see it reflecting off the leaves of the plants in your home, or harness its power to charge your phone or laptop. Photovoltaic energy, or solar power, is one of the fastest growing sources of renewable energy in Canada.
Here are a few things you probably didn’t know about solar energy:
1. Bell Telephone Laboratories developed the first silicone solar cell in 1954, with an efficiency of 6%. Its discovery appeared on the cover of the New York Times, with the headline “Vast Power of the Sun Is Tapped By Battery Using Sand Ingredient.” Scientists could harvest enough energy to power the transmission of voices over telephone wires, and to provide electricity for a radio transmitter.
2. The sun emits rays at a rate of about 3.8 x 1033 ergs/second, or 5 x 1023 horsepower. This is enough heat to melt a chunk of ice more than three kilometres wide and half a kilometer thick, extending from the earth to the sun, in one second.
3. When the sun peaks out from behind a cloud on a rainy day, you may feel its effects immediately. In reality, through conduction, convection, and radiation, it takes the sun’s rays about eight minutes to reach the earth.
4. Alberta’s Residential and Commercial Solar Program is offering rebates to non-profits, businesses, and homeowners installing photovoltaic systems. Since 2015, the province’s solar uptake has doubled. By 2019, the program is expected to create 900 jobs for Albertans, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by half a million tons (the equivalent to 100,000 vehicles on the road,) and cut residential solar panel installation costs by up to 30%.
5. The world’s largest solar power plant is located in Tamil Nadu, India, and has a capacity of 648 megawatts. Covering an area of 10 square kilometres, and comprised of 2.5 million solar modules, the plant can power about 150,000 homes.
6. There are two ways to use energy from the sun. The first involves collecting solar energy and using it to heat water or air to distribute throughout buildings. The second uses solar photovoltaic technology to directly convert sunlight to electricity.
Solar energy is a rapidly evolving industry that continues to break boundaries and introduce unbelievable technological innovations. At Enova Energy, we provide a variety of turnkey solutions for businesses, commercial products, and homes. We install all systems from start to finish, and handle all steps of the application process.
For more information about our solar panel services, get in touch with us today.