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Solar Power: Energy Source Fact File!


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We’ve just got back from Westfield, Stratford where British Gas hosted the finals of their exciting new Generation Green Energy Performance competition where schools competed to win an Energy Makeover, worth up to £150,000!

Six school classes were then chosen to dance on a special dance floor, made of tiles that converted their footsteps into electrical power!

Oh, and they got to dance with Jordan and Perri from Diversity!

Click here to find out more!

To help you get thinking about energy, we’ve got some great pages all about it! Here’s the need-to-know stuff about the energy source, solar power!

The Sun is a star and without it there would be no life on earth. This is why the Sun is called the ultimate source of energy. The Sun’s energy is produced by a process called nuclear fusion. Every second, the Sun emits vast amounts of energy, much of which is light. This solar radiation can be converted into electricity.

Where can you find solar power?
Solar panels can be found all over the world but they are most cost-effective in places where there is a lot of sunshine.

How is it made into electricity?
Solar Cells, also known as Photovoltaic (PV cells), convert sunlight directly into electricity. When sunlight hits the surface of the cell this causes electrons to move. This creates a current in each cell, which is combined to produce useful amounts of electricity. PV cells are combined in solar panels and mounted on the roofs of buildings. They can also be used to power devices such as calculators and watches.

What are the advantages of using solar power?

  • Solar energy is plentiful, free and renewable.
  • Solar panels do not produce any carbon dioxide emissions when converting solar power into electricity.
  • Solar power can be used to create electricity in remote places where it might be very hard to get electricity through the National Grid.

What are the disadvantages of using solar power?

  • It can be costly to fit enough solar panels to power a home or building.
  • PV cells are less efficient in cloudy counties such as the UK.
  • PV cells will not generate electricity at night.


Competition is now closed.

Click on another Energy Source below to keep on exploring!


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