Solar energy is the energy of the Sun's radiation directly through the atmosphere.
On Earth, solar energy is the source of the water cycle, wind and photosynthesis created by the plant kingdom, which depends on the animal through the food chain. Solar energy is the source of all energy on Earth with the exception of nuclear energy, geothermal and tidal energy.
Man uses solar energy to transform into other forms of energy: food energy, kinetic energy, heat, electricity or biomass. By extension, the term "solar energy" is often used to refer to electricity or thermal energy obtained from the latter.
In space, the photon energy can be used, for example to propel a solar sail.
The Solar Resource
Solar energy comes from nuclear fusion that occurs in the middle of the Sun. It spreads in the solar system and the universe in the form of electromagnetic radiation - photons.
The solar energy received at a point on the globe depends on:
* Solar energy sent by the Sun (decadal fluctuations, seasonal, and point).
* The clouds (clouds, fog, etc..), Which is important to the equator and lowest in intertropical environment.
* Latitude, season and time, affecting the height of the sun and therefore the energy per unit surface area, and on the cloud as a function of local climate.
Overall, the earth receives a continuous power of 170 million gigawatt, absorbing 122 and reflects the rest. The total energy absorbed in one year is 3850 zettajoules (1021 joules, ZJ), by comparison, photosynthesis captures three ZJ, ZJ 2.2 contains the wind, and all human uses of energy, 0 , 5 of which 0.06 ZJ ZJ form of electricity
Solar power station in California (Kramer Junction)
The desert areas, where cloud cover is low and which are located in latitudes near the equator, are most favorable to solar energy. Those that are relatively close to major consumption areas in developed countries with sophisticated technology required to capture solar energy see the achievements increasingly important as the Mojave Desert (California) where there is a solar power plant of a total capacity of 354 MW.