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Solar Power

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About 47 per cent of the energy that

the sun releases to the earth actually reaches the

ground. About a third is reflected directly back

into space by the atmosphere. The time in which

solar energy is available, is also the time we least

need it least - daytime. Because the sun's energy

cannot be stored for use another time, we need to

convert the suns energy into an energy that can be

stored. One possible method of storing solar

energy is by heating water that can be insulated.

The water is heated by passing it through hollow

panels. Black-coated steal plates are used

because dark colours absorb heat more efficiently.

However this method only supplies enough energy

for activities such as washing and bathing. The

solar panels generate "low grade" heat, that is,

they generate low temperatures for the amount of

heat needed in a day. In order to generate "high

grade" heat, intense enough to convert water into

high-pressure steam which can then be used to

turn electric generators there must be another

method. The concentrated beams of sunlight are

collected in a device called a solar furnace, which

acts on the same principles as a large magnifying


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