It is a known fact that the sun powers our solar system. What many people don’t know is that the sun is a natural fusion reactor. It radiates energy in tiny packets called photons. This radiation is, simply put, solar energy.
Solar energy is the life source of all the ecological systems in the world. Weather patterns, and thus geological landscapes and life forms, are all powered by solar energy. Depending on the wavelength of the photon, solar energy can be characterized as heat, visible light or ultra violet light. The usage of each form of energy is very different.
The most natural applications of solar energy are as daylight and in photosynthesis. It has also been used since times immemorial for drying, cleaning and preservation. In modern times considerable effort is being invested in harnessing this energy, either through passive or active solar systems.
In a passive solar system, materials, surfaces and elements are used to collect, store, reflect, and distribute solar energy in the form of heat during winters and reject solar heat during summers. In active solar systems energy is transmitted, stored or converted to another form. For example, in case of water heating, energy is used to heat water, which is them pumped to its usage destination. In case of photo voltaic cells, visible light is used to generate electricity which is then used to run electrical systems.