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The sun produces a lot of energy every year, which we call solar energy. Every day the sun radiates over Australia 20,000 times more energy than we get from oil, gas and coal, and for us it is inexhaustible during the remaining five million years of the sun's life. Solar panels are made up of solar power batteries, which convert the energy from sunlight into electricity. Because solar power batteries can generate electricity directly from sunlight, they are the most reliable of all the power generation technologies we have today, which is why solar power batteries are widely used in space and in some remote areas where problems are difficult to solve.




How do solar power batteries work?




solar power batteries consist of silicon atoms. Think of atoms as building bricks -- like Lego's blocks, but because atoms are so small, you need special tools to see them. solar power batteries are made from silicon wafers about the size of a dinner plate, but much thinner -- only about three times thicker than an average human hair.




Turning a silicon layer into a solar panel requires a special preparation process. The silicon layer is heated to 1,000 degrees Celsius. Then a sheet of metal is placed on the back of the layer.




When the 60 solar power batteries are finished, they will be attached to a sheet of glass to make solar panels. Typically, rooftop solar systems have 10 to 50 solar panels, and rural solar farms have millions of panels.




Every silicon atom contains tiny, lightweight electrons that carry a weak electric charge. When sunlight falls on a solar panel, it hits one of its electrons and knocks it out of its electron orbit. The electrons that are hit are free to move, but the cells are specially constructed so that they can only move in one direction, towards the sun.




So when sunlight hits a solar cell, many of the electrons will fall out of their orbits and become free electrons. Because of the nature of solar power batteries, the electrons can only move up, creating the current that drives household appliances.




The more sunlight falls on a solar cell, the more electrons will be knocked out of its orbit, and the more current will be generated. If the weather is not clear, the number of electrons hit will be reduced, and the resulting current will be reduced by 75 percent or more. At night, the solar panels produce no electricity at all, relying solely on batteries or other sources of electricity.




How do we use solar power batteries?




solar power batteries are the cheapest way to generate electricity -- even cheaper than a new coal-fired or nuclear power plant. That's why the global installation rate of solar power batteries is five times that of coal and 20 times that of nuclear.




Almost all new power plants built in Australia are solar or wind farms. Electric cars powered by solar and wind power could replace polluting petrol cars. Solar and wind power can also be used to heat and cool homes, replacing traditional coal and natural gas heating.




Using solar and wind power to help reduce planet-damaging greenhouse gas emissions is cheap compared to other energy sources and will get cheaper. If we use more wind or solar power, we can accelerate the reduction in the use of traditional energy sources (such as coal, oil and natural gas) that are hurting the planet.




In addition, silicon is the world's second most abundant atom (after oxygen). In fact, most sand and stone are made of silicon and oxygen, so we can't use all that silicon to make solar power batteries.

T
tom lee

tom lee

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