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using solar cells


Pretty well all the energy available to us comes from the Sun in one way or another, but if we want to trap its energy directly, we need to use solar panels or solar cells.

HST launch from shuttle


The Sun's energy is routinely used to power satellites. This is the Hubble Space Telescope being launched from the Space Shuttle. The large rectangular 'wings' are solar panels harnessing solar energy

The solar panels on the SOHO spacecraft use photovoltaic cells. Click on the movie image to see a simulation of SOHO's solar panels unfolding.

You can see more movies in our Gallery [Clapper board with a cd rom - Movie file 1 Mb or more]

Nuna - the solar powered car


Image of the Nuna solar powered carSolar power can even be used to fuel cars. Here is the Dutch car, Nuna, which finished first in the World Solar Challenge 2001. This is a race right across Australia, 3010 km, for cars powered by solar energy.

Solar power is very clean, with no nasty side effects. It is quite technically advanced and a bit expensive to install. More and more countries are now using solar power to provide electricity.



***********Press Release**************

News Release - 10th March 2015 - Solar Impulse

Solar Impulse, the fuel-free aeroplane, has successfully completed the second leg of its historic attempt to fly around the world.The distance covered - 1,468km – took just over 15 hours and set a new world record for a flight in a piloted solar-powered plane. Solar Impulse arrived in Ahmedabad, India, in darkness, its wings illuminated by LEDs, and its propellers driven by the energy stored in its batteries.


African Sun


Image of some African school children standing in front on some solar panelsAfrican Sun could provide power for villages and schools.

Solar power is a good way to provide electricity locally in the villages, because it does not need an expensive and complicated network of transformers, pylons and wires.


Image of some pylons alongside a road in Africa




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