I realized I was disappointed in myself for never even reading the Wiki page for Solar Power… so I just did that… Here are the fun solar energy facts I found by following all the links there I found interesting:
1. The sun hits the earth with more energy in 1 hour than the whole earth consumes in 1 year (3850 zettajoules).
2. The word “Zettajoules” is a silly word.
3. Greek, Native American, and the Chinese warmed their buildings by orienting them toward the sun.
4. “Solar Mass” is where you absorb unwanted heat during the day and release it by ventilating it later when you do want it.
5. The first known solar powered mechanical device was Auguste Mouchout’s steamboat engine… which Napoleon thought was “really neat” (ok, that’s not a quote but I don’t speak French) and funded his research. Then France made a new cheaper coal deal with England and Napoleon told Auguste “tough titties” and yanked his funding. This trend was to continue until present day.
6. A “light tube” is like a skylight but longer and tubier.
7. An incredible 90% of all energy used to run a washing machine is used to heat the water. Wow.
Last modified: September 17, 2007