Converting Solar Energy to Useful Fuel
The conversion of light radiation to heat energy is a matter of common expeience—things placed in the sun get warm. However, different materials absorb different amounts of heat. For example, something which is dark gets warmer than something which is light in color. The reason is simple. Black objects absorb light, so that no light is reflected from black surfaces to our eyes. The light, once absorbed, is converted to energy of motion, causing the atoms and molecules in the object to move faster. This increased movement causes friction within the object, and is observed by us as a rise in the temperature of the object. In other words, the energy of the light is converted to heat energy, and the substance gets hotter (see Figure 10.1).
KeywordsSolar Collector Cadmium Sulfide Black Object Photovoltaic Material Energy Collector
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