- Last Updated on Friday, 31 August 2012 11:22
About Solar Power
Solar power generation refers to the conversion of sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly using concentrated solar power (CSP).
Photovoltaics convert light into electric current using the photoelectric effect. Photovoltaic cells are made of materials called semiconductors. When light strikes the cell, a certain portion of it is absorbed within the semiconductor material. This means that the energy of the absorbed light is transferred to the semiconductor. The energy knocks electrons loose, allowing them to flow freely. PV cells also all have electric fields that act to force the freed electrons to flow in a certain direction. This flow of electrons is a current, and by placing metal contacts on the top and bottom of the PV cell, the current can be used or stored as electricity.
Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. The beam is directed to heat a working fluid within the system. The liquid is then used for power generation as in a steam generator or energy storage. Thermal storage efficiently allows up to 24 hour electricity generation.
Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA)
CanSIA is a national trade association that represents solar energy companies throughout Canada. CanSIA has worked to develop a strong, efficient, ethical and professional Canadian solar energy industry with capacity to provide innovative solar energy solutions and to play a major role in the global transition to a sustainable, clean-energy future.
Click here to visit CanSIA's solar energy 101 page.
ShineONtario is an educational portal on the benefits and advantages of solar energy.
Click here to go to ShineONtario’s collection of Solar-related articles.
Introduction to Solar Photovoltaics: An information factsheet created by the Blue Sky Renewable Energy Initiative.
Introduction to Solar Thermal: An information factsheet created by the Blue Sky Renewable Energy Initiative.
Solar Power - An Introduction: How solar energy can be used to heat water (solar-thermal) or generate electricity (solar-PV), and where they can be used.
Community-scale Solar-PV Project: How West Oxford Community Renewables installed 550 solar PV panels on the roofs of a local school and benefit from the feed-in tariff.
CEPP Webinar - Solar Power for Faith Projects: Presentations from members of faith communities who are developing or have successfully built solar power projects. This webinar also examines how proponents are making important decisions such as selecting project partners or determining their financing model.