Solar Heating Information for Kids

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Solar energy comes from the sun and travels through outer space to the earth. Solar energy comes in the form of light, and when the light comes to planet Earth, sometimes the solar energy is harnessed as heat or converted into electricity.

Example of Solar Energy.

If you go to the beach on a warm and sunny summer day, sometimes the sand gets so hot that it hurts your feet when you walk across it without any shoes. This is an example of solar energy.

Colors and Solar Energy

As a rule, darker colors absorb more solar energy, and so do some types of surfaces such as smooth metal. For those reasons, a blacktop road or a piece of shiny metal might get even hotter from sunlight than a sandy beach.

Heating a Building

Sometimes on a cold but sunny winter day, you can stand next to a glass window and feel warm, because the sun is shining on you. Special walls and floors can absorb sunshine in the same way and release the heat after the sun goes away.

Hot Water Heater

If you put a metal tank on the roof of a house, paint it black and fill it with water, the water will get hot whenever the sun shines. Now run a pipe from the tank to the inside of the house and you can have hot water when the sun shines.

Electricity From Sunshine

Recently, scientists have discovered a way to make electricity from sunshine. This new science is called photovoltaics, and the process of making electricity is similar to how a battery works.

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