What Are 5 Examples of Solar Energy?

Although solar energy is abundant, you may not see it right away. That is because solar energy only becomes usable once it has been harvested. The following five examples offer a good overview of how solar energy is converted into usable energy that can be stored and used at any time.

Photovoltaic (PV)

The first and the most popular example of solar energy is photovoltaic (PV). This is because solar cells are relatively easy to use and they can be applied to a wide range of uses. PV has a variety of applications and it is the most basic form of solar energy. When the sun shines on a solar cell, the cell will generate electricity which can be used to power electronics or to charge a battery.

Thermal Power

Thermal power is energy derived from heat. However, despite the name, thermal power can be created by a wide variety of methods. The most common method to create thermal power is through the use of a solar oven. These devices use the sun’s heat to produce electricity. Other methods to create thermal power include burning fuel (such as wood or coal) in a reactor, or using geothermal energy (energy derived from a subterranean heat source). Thermal power is a useful source of energy for a number of applications, including heating homes, businesses, and infrastructure. Furthermore, because thermal power is a nearly limitless source of energy, it is a popular choice among those seeking to generate energy for renewable needs.

Wind Energy

Wind energy is the movement of air that generates energy. This “movement” can be through the action of the wind or it can be caused by the weight of air which rises as the tide approaches and then sinks as the tide recedes. Although wind energy is free, it can be difficult to harness. The best place to locate a wind turbine is where there is high average wind speed and low air humidity. Additionally, the wind turbine should be placed on a hilltop or in a remote area to maximize its capabilities.


Hydroenergy is energy derived from water. There are many different forms of hydroenergy, including waterwheels and hydroelectricity. Hydroelectricity is the generation of electricity through the use of falling or rising water. This power can be used to operate motors or it can be transformed directly into electricity through the use of devices known as alternators. When turbines are used in conjunction with alternators, they are known as hybrid systems. Hydroelectricity is another popular choice among individuals and businesses seeking to generate energy for renewable needs.

Energy Capture

Energy capture is the process of gathering energy from one source and transferring it to another. Energy capture does not require any particular technologies in order to function, as long as there is a way to tap into the source of energy. A number of technologies can be used to capture energy, including solar thermal energy and solar photovoltaic (PV). In some cases, it may even be possible to transfer energy without using any technologies at all. For example, one can create energy by directly connecting the wires of an electric generator to the terminals of a battery.

Even though solar energy is abundant, it is not always easy to locate. That makes it all the more important to find ways to make the most of this energy. The alternatives for modern life are endless, as long as we have the sun shining. 

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