What Is Solar Energy? Answers and Facts About the Use of Solar Power In the Home

By: Glenn Whitehead

What is solar energy? The idea of using solar energy, as an alternative to power produced by fossil fuels is one that has been discussed for decades. However, many people still have no idea what it really is. Solar energy is radiant heat produced by the sun; that is, then, stored and converted to electricity. The following are some facts that should help explain the advantages, disadvantages, and complexities of using solar energy as a source of power for the home.


  • There is an unlimited supply and it’s free.
  • It can be harnesses and stored for later use.
  • It has been used for centuries for such things as heating water.
  • The keys to using solar power in the home are collection and storage.
  • Solar energy is collected by using photovoltaic cells (solar Panels). The cells are made from silicone, phosphorous, and boron.
  • The most common methods of storage for solar energy are nickel cadium and lead acid batteries.
  • The high cost installing solar systems to power entire homes would take too long to recoup in energy savings to make it a practical option.
  • There are practical uses of solar energy in the home such as: water heating, ventilator fans, and landscape lighting.


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