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I was going to entitle this article "solar heating for the home" but since heating is not the main use for solar energy in the home I renamed it. Common sense tells us why solar energy is not immensely useful for residential heating. When we most need it, in winter the sun is less effective and there are fewer daylight hours. Solar Energy Technologies A number of technologies have been developed to make use of solar radiation.

Some of these make direct use of solar energy for lighting and heating etc., while others produce electricity. They are: 1. Solar thermal energy collection systems which produce electricity through mirrors and a number of tubes which are filled with fluid.

2. Solar thermal collectors which produce heat. 3. Photovoltaic panels which generate electricity directly from sunlight.

However, they generate D.C. current, which has to be converted to A.C. if you want to use it in the home.

This would requires a large surface areas to provide enough energy for a single home. This is why solar panels are rarely used for residential heating. 4. Solar hot water panels which are often employed in residential situations to heat water. The Efficiency of Solar Panels Solar panels produce very little power in shady or cloudy conditions so are most efficient in direct sunshine.

Surprisingly, solar panels used in very hot climates are less efficient than those used in sunny but cold countries because it is light that makes electricity not heat. Most energy is generated when solar panels are directly pointed towards the sun. So just how much power is produced also depends upon the time of day since the sun's angle differs.

Usually the best choice is to incline the panel although on shady days, horizontal mounted panels are better. Although the popularity of home solar energy has been decreasing since the 1970s, billions of dollars have been spent on developing Photovoltaic systems in America and Japan. Lately, Germany has also joined in the research so costs are falling. Also, in some countries you can recoup some of your expenses by selling excess energy back to the electricity companies.

Before your buy be better informed about solar power energy. Discover the disadvantages and advantages of solar energy and how useful it is for products like lighting and heat.

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