Solar Energy: An Alternative Energy Imagine a perfect source of energy. One with which no pollution what-so-ever is associated with. No poisonous gasses or destruction of rain forests. This abundant source of energy comes from the sun. Solar energy is the visible energy produced in the sun as a result of a constant nuclear fusion reaction that is taking place. The amount of energy at the solar constant, which is at outer edge of the earth's atmosphere, is two calories per minute per cm squared.

A calorie is the amount of energy needed to raise one gram of water one degree Celsius. If we could efficiently harness the energy bombarding the earth for twenty-four hours we could power New York for a year. Unfortunately the photovoltaic cells that change the energy into electricity are so inefficient that it would take twenty-five years to pay for it's self in output. There many uses of solar energy. Some homes rely fully on the power of the sun to heat their water.

Other houses have flat plate collectors which aid in the heating of the house and water. Solar Energy plays a vital role in the absorption cooling cycle in a process called solar cooling. Since wind is caused by the up and down movement of hot and cold air, wind energy can be a branch of solar energy. The same thing with tidal energy. And since the sun plays a vital role in the water cycle hydroelectric energy can be attributed to solar energy. Solar Energy has great potential in becoming a main source of energy in the future.

Bibliography 'Alternative Resources' Internet. Large URL Schneider, Herman and Nina. Science for Today and Tomorrow. Boston: D. C.

Health and Company.'s solar Energy.' Microsoft Encarta. 1995 ed.