Some friendly facts about solar

General facts
   • Solar Energy is better for the environment than traditional forms of energy.
   • Solar energy has many uses such as electricity production and heating of water through photovoltaic cells
   • Solar energy can also be used to heat swimming pools, power cars, for attic fans, calculators and other small
     appliances. It produces lighting for indoors or outdoors.
   • You can even cook food with solar energy.
   • Solar Energy is becoming more and more popular. The worldwide demand for Solar Energy is currently greater
     than supply.

Facts about solar energy usage
   • Solar Energy is measured in kilowatt-hour. 1 kilowatt = 1000 watts.
   • 1 kilowatt-hour (kWh) = the amount of electricity required to burn a 100 watt light bulb for 10 hours.
   • About 30% of our total energy consumption is used to heat water.

Facts about solar energy systems
   • A home solar system is typically made up of solar panels, an inverter (sometimes a battery), a charge controller, wiring and support structure.
   • A small 1.5kw home solar system takes about 1 day to install and costs can vary greatly without taking into account any incentives offered by the government
   • A 1 kilowatt home solar system will generate approximately 1,600 kilowatt hours per year in a sunny climate (receiving 5.5 hours of sunshine per day) and
     approximately 750 kilowatt hours per year in a cloudy climate (receiving 2.5 hours of sunshine per day).
   • A 1-kilowatt home solar system will prevent approximately 170 lbs. of coal from being burned, 300 lbs of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere and
     nearly 400 litres of water from being consumed each month!
   • About 40 solar cells are usually combined into a solar panel and around 10-12 panels mounted in an array facing due North to receive maximum sunlight.
   • The system usually comes with extended warranties for your comfort and peace of mind.
   • You can rely on a battery backup where a solar energy system could provide electricity 24x7, even on cloudy days and at night.
   • Solar energy can be collected and stored in batteries, reflected, insulated, absorbed and transmitted if required (can be costly but possible)

Sun related Facts
   • Sunlight travels to the earth in approximately 8 minutes from 93,000,000 miles
     away, at 186,282 miles per second.
   • The sun is 109 times bigger than the Earth. The sun’s radius being 696,000km
     and the Earth’s radius 6, 376km.
   • The sun’s average surface temperature is 5700c. The Earth’s average
     temperature is 20c
   • The sun is also the main source of non-renewable fossil fuels (coal, gas and
     petroleum), which began life as plants or animals whose energy came from the
     sun millions of year ago.
   • Solar energy is responsible for weather patterns and ocean currents.
   • The average solar energy falling on Australia is equivalent to about 15.000 (fifteen
     thousand!) times the nation’s present total energy use.
     At 15% conversion rate that is still more than 2000 times the present
     need, providing we could capture it all.
   • Clouds, pollution and wind can prevent the sun's rays from reaching the earth.

Other interesting facts about Solar Energy
   • Da Vinci predicted a solar industrialization as far back as 1447 when he
     conceived an idea for solar power by deploying concave mirrors to heat water.
   • Many ancient civilizations worshiped the sun as the cause of everything. Ancient
     and modern North- and South-American Indian tribes worshiped the sun. The ancient Egyptians worshiped their sun god Ra.
   • In one hour more sunlight falls on the earth than what is used by the entire population in one year.
   • A world record was set in 1990 when a solar powered aircraft flew 4060km across the USA, using no fuel.
   • Fierce weather cost the world a record $130 Billion in the first eleven months of 1998- more money than was lost from weather related disasters from 1980 to
     1990 ($82 Billion).
   • Researchers from the World watch Institute and Munich Re blame deforestation and climate change from Earth warming for much of the loss. The previous
     one-year record was $90 Billion in 1996. Source - Associated Press, November 28,1998.
   • About 2 billion people in the world are currently without electricity.
   • Accounting for only 5 percent of the world's population, Americans consume 26 percent of the world's energy.
   • Electric ovens consume the most amount of electricity, followed by microwaves and central air conditioning.
   • Third world countries with an abundance of sunlight and a population currently without electricity, represents the
     fastest growing market for solar energy, with the largest domestic market being the utilities sector.
   • Shell Oil predicts that 50% of the world's energy will come from renewable sources by 2040.
   • Solar energy plants are found where there is a high concentration of unobstructed sunlight. The photovoltaic solar
     energy plant scheduled for completion in 2011 at Deming, New Mexico, will be 300 megawatts; 15 times larger
     than the largest solar power plant in the world.
   • The biggest solar plant in Australia has a capacity of 3MW and is located at Liddel in New South Wales. The plant
     uses modern thermal concentrators.
   • More than 6% of Australian households have solar power systems.
   • The number of houses with solar panels has increased 35 times in the last three years.
   • There is enough roof space area available in Australia to meet the continent’s electricity demand through solar power.

*Disclaimer – Some of these facts are gathered from international sources and the internet… The accuracy of these facts and the sources could be innacurate but definitely interesting reading… The internet is an amazing place…
Facts are also gathered through the Australian Clean Energy Council (CEC’s)



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