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CyberDodo and solar energy (1-45)

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At the sun's core there occurs a permanent reaction which scientists have named nuclear fusion. This natural phenomenon releases a tremendous amount of energy, actually electromagnetic radiation composed of photon particles, which will travel through space just over 8 minutes before reaching the Earth's surface.

These photons not only produce light, but serve other roles that are equally essential - they provide us with heat (via water) and also facilitate plant photosynthesis.

This energy, with which the photons are charged, is known as « solar energy » and is the topic of this report. It is also one of the main potential replacements of fossil energies (oil, gas, coal, etc) which are being depleted at an ever-increasing rate, just as they pollute our environment in ways that are dangerous to all life. 

The sun, source of life

How does man use solar energy ?

Throughout time, man has always used solar energy as it is truly indispensable to life on Earth. It is used for illumination, heating, to make plants that are consumed by humans grow, and so on. Very early on, man understood how to construct and adapt his environment in order to take advantage of the benefits of our star.

This relationship of total dependence has created numerous belief systems and the sun became the central element of several cults.

At present, we basically distinguish between 3 main techniques for the use of solar energy :

Passive solar energy

More and more, houses are being built taking into account sunshine, including the direction of the structure, insulation, number and position of the windows, etc.

By way of anecdote, let's remember that « modern » man confronted with pollution and the disappearance of fossil energies is now rediscovering the essential link that ties us to the sun ; this is a concept which our ancestors not only understood but integrated into their homes and surroundings. For example, trees were planted so that their leaves would protect humans the from the sun during the hottest months of the year. In addition, the benefits of solar heating were exploited during colder periods, since the trees would have lost their leaves.

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