About Solar Power

Solar power is electricity or heat that is generated from sunlight either through photovoltaics, concentrated solar power, or solar thermal. These technologies can effectively transform solar energy into electricity or heat that can be used for many different purposes.

Photovoltaics involves generating electricity through the photoelectric effect, which is a process in which electricity is generated as a result of sunlight making direct contact with the cells of the solar panel. These cells, typically made of silicon, contain electrons that when provided with energy, can be knocked free in order to flow as electricity. Sunlight contains the energy that the electrons need in order to be released from the surface of the cells within the solar panels.

Concentrated solar power involves channeling sunlight through many small glass lenses or mirrors in order to create a highly concentrated beam of light. This beam of light is then typically used as a source of heat for power plants where electricity is generated and stored. The glass lenses or mirrors of the solar panel can be configured in order to capture the most amount of sunlight based on sunlight tracking data. Concentrated solar power for electricity is currently limited to areas of the world with a stronger solar resource.

Solar thermal energy is technology that focuses on capturing solar energy for the purpose of generating thermal energy or heat. Solar energy is captured by collectors which generate thermal energy for things such as domestic hot water, swimming pools, small indoor spaces, homes, business, and many other purposes.

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4321 Walters Lake Road
Rhinelander, WI 54501

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