For better understating about what solar energy is and how it generated we need to know bit more about Sun which provide us with this amazing source of energy. Solar energy is radiant energy which is emitted by Sun. One interesting question which one may ask is how sun manages to provide such amount of radiant energy constantly, what does sun possess which in result produces such massive amount of energy ? It is obvious that all this energy comes from with in the core of sun. This huge ball is full of gases like hydrogen and helium, hydrogen atoms however is present on larger scale. Energy is formed because of nuclear fusion reaction when hydrogen atoms combine to form helium; this entire process takes place in the core of the sun which is the hottest part.
Extreme high pressures and temperatures are formed due to nuclear fusions reaction which in result hydrogen atoms to break apart and their nuclei to combine or fuse. One helium atom is formed when four nuclei of hydrogen are fused together; however helium atoms posses lesser mass then four hydrogen atoms. During the nuclear fusion reaction some of the matter is lost which is release into the space, this matter comes out into space as radiant energy.
Sun surface is about 109 times bigger then surface of the earth. It takes millions of years for energy generated from the center of the sun to reach to the surface of the sun. Our mother earth is about 149.63 * 106 kilometers away from the sun, and light takes about 8 minutes and 31 seconds to reach to the surface of the earth. Light from the sun travels 186,262 milers per second to reach to earth. Energy emitted from the sun which reaches earth is in massive amount and can be extremely dangerous for mankind on earth if direct exposure is made.
Earth posses layer of ozone which filters all harmful radiant energy and allows only that light and heat energy to the surface of earth which benefits living organisms. The energy which finally reaches earth is very low to the amount of energy filtered, yet this amount of energy is sufficient to provide enough electricity to the earth for entire year. Some portion of energy is reflected back into space, little portion is used to evaporation process, some amount of energy is utilized by land, oceans and plants, still rest of the energy is up for us to take and produce solar electricity out of it.Advertisement