Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly using concentrated solar power (CSP). Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. Photovoltaics convert light into electric current using the photoelectric effect.
What are Solar Farms?
While homeowners with solar panels on their roofs aim to generate enough power to cover their individual energy needs, large utility-scale solar farms are designed to generate enough electricity to power thousands of homes and businesses. Who do solar farms work? A solar panel farm feeds power into the electrical grid just as fossil-fuel energy plants do, except that solar farms produce no pollution of any kind, and use very little water compared to traditional power plants.
Photovoltaic (PV) cells made of silicon are constructed into panels, each gathering a small amount of sunlight energy. The panels are installed on short towers over an area as big as 100 acres. Some solar farms fix their PV panels into a static position; other farms use solar tracking systems that move the panels to follow the sun. Multiple panels are required to generate significant electricity, which is why solar panel farm arrays are so large. Solar developers either buy the land for their panels, or lease it from businesses, government agencies or private individuals.
Another form of solar farming energy is concentrated solar power, which uses mirrors or lenses to concentrate sunlight and create heat, which drives a variety of conventional generator systems. PV solar farms are more popular and in much greater use, outnumbering concentrated solar power installations by 40 to one.