14 Apr '11, 3pm

New Jersey #organic farmers saw their electricity bills fall from $1500 to $2. Why? #SmartSolar

New Jersey #organic farmers saw their electricity bills fall from $1500 to $2. Why? #SmartSolar

Solar, or photovoltaic, cells convert sunlight directly into electricity. Most photovoltaic cells are made primarily of silicon, the material used in computer semiconductor chips, and arranged on rectangular panels. When sunlight hits a cell, the energy knocks electrons free of their atoms, allowing them to flow through the material. The resulting DC (direct current) electricity is then sent to a power inverter for conversion to AC (alternating current). Solar thermal collectors use heat-absorbing panels and a series of attached circulation tubes to heat water or buildings. Solar concentration systems use mirrors -- usually arranged in a series of long, parabolic troughs, a large round dish, or a circle surrounding a "power tower" -- to focus the sun's reflected rays on a heat-collecting element. The concentrated sunlight heats water or a heat-transferring fluid such as mo...

Full article: http://www.nrdc.org/energy/renewables/solar.asp

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