solar energy

solar energy
/soʊlər ˈɛnədʒi/ (say sohluhr 'enuhjee)

energy derived from the sun, as for home heating, industrial use, etc.
Solar energy has been used for more than 2000 years. From 400 BC, the buildings of Greek cities were oriented to take advantage of the sun in the winter while reducing exposure to summer heat. The Romans improved solar architecture by using glass which had been around for centuries but whose potential for trapping solar radiation had never been explored. Solar technologies today are characterised as either passive solar or active solar. Passive solar includes those same techniques used by ancient societies as well as building design employing materials selected for their response to temperature fluctuations. Active technologies include using photovoltaic panels to convert solar energy directly into electricity or solar thermal collectors which convert sunlight into useful outputs such as water heating, general heating, cooling and ventilation systems, and water treatment. Solar energy has all the desirable elements of an energy source being sustainable, renewable, non-polluting and, particularly in Australia, reliable.

Australian English dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

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