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Solar is the smart, clean way to power

In addition to powerful new solar cells and panels, there are many new advancements in solar energy technology such as solar shingles and transparent solar sky lights. Picture: Sacramento Metropolitan Utility District (SMUD) solar home.


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Photovoltaics Overview

Clean and Renewable Energy
Photo voltaic (PV), or solar, energy can supply your power off the grid or you can even sell back to your utility. It's highly reliant and affordable renewable energy, plus when the utilities go down, you'll be your own powerhouse. Let's look at how PVs work. And look at solar energy in action in homes and solar electric cars. You'll also find great green products for your home and garden and natural fashion and beauty care here.

93 million miles away there is a power source 5 billion years old that can supply all of Earth's power needs and costs not one cent, until the utilities find a way to charge us for the sun's energy.  The Sun has a total power output of 28,100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilowatts per hour.

Solar PV cells are now more powerful and reliable than ever. Many common things, and uncommon things are powered by the energy of the sun. PV cells power some calculators and watches. Other uses include highway call boxes, communication systems, power for homes in remote areas, billboards, sprinkler systems, etc. In addition, developing countries are big users of PV systems for water pumping.

Remote homes, cabins, and RVs use solar power. Increasingly homes on the energy grid are also using solar power to generate their own virtually free energy and even selling some back to the utility company. Many of these people are solar pioneers in the president's 1 Million Solar Roofs campaign.

US. Dept. of Energy Photovoltaics home page has info about becoming an energy pioneer.

Sacramento Area residents can become solar energy pioneers with SMUD. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District has two different solar pioneer programs, one where they use your roof, but you do not own the system. In their second program, you own the system and the energy. You can even sell energy back to the utility with net metering.



Find chemical free ways to fight garden pests in home & garden, and cruelty-free natural beauty tips and products.

The S.O.S. Emergency 4-in-1 Hammer can save the life of someone trapped in a wrecked vehicle. Find out more.

How Solar Cells Work
Very basically, PV cells absorb energy from the sun and convert it into electricity.

For technical information see this Environmental Physics Link.

If you're interested in overview that starts basic and then gets very, very, very technical. This paper from Physics Today, 1993 explains how PVs work.
Photovoltaics: Unlimited Electrical
Energy From the Sun

Solar Cars & the Future
PV cells are being used to power many things besides houses, like cars, and, of course, NASA spaceships. To find out about solar cars, visit the Sunrayce solar car website.

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