Every hour, more energy from sunlight strikes the earth than the entire human population uses in a whole year. The sun's heat and light provide an abundant source of energy that can be harnessed in many ways. There are a variety of technologies that have been developed to take advantage of solar energy. These include concentrating solar power systems, passive solar heating and daylighting, photovoltaic systems to generate electricity, solar hot water, and solar process heat and space heating and cooling. The Division of Energy supports solar energy projects that promote the broader use and application of solar technologies in the Commonwealth.
Direct Normal Solar Radiation in the U.S.
The U.S. Department of Energy has prepared a 60-second animated video showing the function of a solar cell as part of a photovoltaic panel or module.
QuickTime format: (free QuickTime plug-in) MPEG format:
small video, 180x135 (QuickTime 7.9 MB) small video (MPEG 14.8 MB)
large video, 240x180 (QuickTime 11.4 MB) large video (MPEG 26.5 MB)