How can we get energy from the sun?

Ian Somerhalder Foundation

We call it solar energy, and we have had it for as long as the planet exists. The sun gives us natural light during the day and it keeps us warm. There is also another way to use the sun’s energy: creating electricity. Solar energy is a form of energy that we call renewable because nature replaces it every day. We also call it clean and green because it doesn’t pollute the air and the water.

But how does it work?

When we use solar energy as heat, it’s very simple. You can use it to heat spaces, like your room. It takes no more than letting the sun shine over the space for it to really work. Another way to use solar energy is transforming the heat into electricity. Have you ever noticed some big shiny panels on someone’s roof? They are called solar cells, and through processes called photovoltaics they save sunlight and transform it into electricity! If you want to know more about how this is done, CLICK HERE.

What’s cool about solar energy?

  • Solar power is being used by more than 10,000 American families;
  • It is environmentally friendly;
  • We can use it both in small objects like calculators, watches, and toys, and not so small objects, like houses and cars!

What’s not cool about solar energy?

  • We can’t store it as we do with oil, so a lot of cloudy days may be a problem;
  • Right now, it’s more expensive to collect than non-renewable energies.

What do you think about doing some fun experiments to see how powerful the sun is? You can build a solar water purifier by CLICKING HERE and a solar oven by CLICKING HERE. Want more? CLICK HERE and you’ll find a lot of experiments. Just don’t forget to tell your parents about them and ask for help!