The sun’s pretty awesome — and we’re not just saying that because we’re a solar energy company. The sun powers all life on Earth, and humans have learned to harness its power since the dawn of time. Throughout history, advancements in technology have allowed us to transform the sun’s rays into many different forms of energy — including electricity!
Below, we’ve compiled everything — that’s everything — you need to know about solar energy, from the science behind creating electricity to how solar farms work, solar net metering, rooftop solar panels, common myths, and more. We even show you how using electricity from solar energy can reduce both your impact on the planet and the demand for other energy sources generated from burning fossil fuels.
If you’ve got a question about solar energy, you’ll find your answer below. But if you don’t, you’re sure to see it in our complete catalog of educational articles on our Chariot University page.
Solar Energy 101: Getting Down to Basics
We’re completely fascinated by our sun. Everything we’ve ever known comes from our sun, from the food we eat to the cars we drive to the birds in the trees and the water we drink. In this article, we explain exactly what solar energy is from a scientific perspective. We also discuss the many different ways we’ve learned to harness its energy to power thousands of homes and businesses across the country.
In order to understand the solar energy applications of today, you must also understand the historical inventions that led to the creation of photovoltaic solar panels you see on the rooftops of homes and businesses. Humans have harnessed the power of the sun for thousands of years, but it wasn’t until Albert Einstein came along that things really started to pick up. We condense that lengthy timeline into a 10-minute read.
We are strong advocates for the use of solar energy, but we know there are some limitations to the technology that scientists are diligently working to resolve. In this article, we parse through the different advantages and disadvantages of solar energy as compared with other renewable power sources like wind and hydroelectric.
Solar energy is part of a larger group of energy sources called green energy. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, these sources of power are the most environmentally beneficial options available today. Period. Best of all, solar is one of seven green energy sources. Learn more about each of those here.
Contrary to what you might think, clean energy, renewable energy, and green energy are not the same — at all. We simplify this complex and somewhat confusing vocabulary of terms and explain the differences between each power source. And yes, solar is a form of clean energy!
Even More Information on Solar Energy
As the owner of a West Texas solar farm, we love talking about this topic! Put simply, a solar farm is a huge assemblage of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels that absorb the sun’s energy and transform it into an electric current we can then use to power our homes and businesses. We explain everything there is to know about them.
Interestingly enough, wind energy is actually created from the sun’s uneven heating of the Earth! But while solar and wind may share the same source of power, they are captured in entirely different ways. Solar is a form of electromagnetic energy, while wind is essentially kinetic energy that’s captured by wind turbines and other devices. Learn more about their differences and similarities here.
The differences between natural gas, a fossil fuel, and solar energy are pretty obvious, but not as simple as you may think. The answers you might already know are fairly straightforward, but they are definitely worth exploring.
Great question! Critics far and wide have expressed their concerns about this renewable energy resource, from its claims about environmental sustainability to the materials involved in producing solar panels. At Chariot, we’ve heard them all, and we face their criticisms head-on in this article.
As a retail electricity provider, Chariot Energy provides Texas residents 100% solar energy but without the panels. But we also provide electricity plans to residents who already have their own set of panels. Through a concept called net metering, we credit these homeowners with the solar energy their panels produce.
Many people want to install rooftop solar panels for their homes or businesses. But it’s kind of like buying a house: should you lease your solar panels or should you outright buy them? We answer your burning questions about investing in your own panels here.
If you’re interested in choosing solar power technology for your home, it can be super intimidating and difficult to know where to begin the process. While we don’t (yet) install residential solar energy systems, we are still residential solar experts. With our answers to these 11 questions, you’ll gain a greater understanding of home solar and determine if it’s right for you.
The ultimate question: How much will it cost me? We give you an inside look into the costs of solar panels and the reasons why they’re becoming more accessible. Then again, that’s exactly why we offer solar energy without the panels: it can be expensive for a homeowner to invest in their own rooftop system.
PV solar is a breakthrough technology with the power to transform our lives. However, some claim it’s not as eco-friendly as it seems. We amidst solar’s not perfect, but researchers and scientists are taking active steps to making it cleaner and more efficient that ever before. We dispel the myths and discuss the the truth about solar energy’s environmental impact here.
For even more resources on sustainability and green living, visit Chariot University! →