The Sun is the largest source of free energy available on this planet. There are dozens of ways to harness this energy. Certainly, the most common method is to use Photovoltaic cells, which are commonly called “solar cells.” The advantage of solar cells is that they can produce electricity directly from the Sun. The disadvantage is that when the Sun goes down at night, solar cells don’t produce any energy.
To overcome this issue, a number of other technologies that are being developed to produce utility scale power from the Sun. Many of these methods also include features to produce power both day and night. These include Concentrating the sun light to produce and store enough heat to drive engines and generators 24 hours a day. Another method involves heating a huge “greenhouse” area and letting the hot air rise up a Solar Chimney.
Here are a number of films to illustrate these technologies.
The first film discusses Photovoltaic Cells.
This next film discusses Concentrated Solar energy systems.
This last film shows the Solar Chimney project conceived for rural Australia.