Solar Power Quiz

Staff

4 Min Quiz

Devices that convert sunlight directly into electricity are called ...

Sometimes referred to as "PV devices," or "solar cells," photovoltaic devices are often used in locations that are not hooked up to the electric grid.

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Solar power is also used to create electricity through the workings of solar power plants. Which state in the U.S. housed the greatest number of solar power plants, according to data collected in 2006?

California is first, with 10 known solar electric plants, and Arizona runs second, with five. Between the two states, they house all of the 15 known solar power plants. Plants producing less than one megawatt of energy are not tracked, however, so other states may house smaller plants.

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Sunlight is composed of which type of energy particle?

Photon is the name for a particle of solar energy. Since it acts as both a particle and as a wave, it is described as having "wave-particle duality." But in brief, photon means "a discrete bundle of electromagnetic energy."

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In the late 1950s, the U.S. began using photovoltaic cells to power ...

The U.S. began this practice in the 1950s and continues to use solar energy to power, for instance, the Hubble Space Telescope!

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The first civilizations to take solar energy into account in building their structures and planning their cities were the Greeks and the Chinese, who oriented their buildings in which direction, to maximize light and warmth?

North of the equator, windows and solar panels facing south receive the most sunlight throughout the day. The use of windows to provide heat to a structure via sun exposure is an example of what is called "passive space heating," a kind of dispersal of heat which requires no mechanical equipment.

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In July 2008, researchers at MIT announced that they had devised a less-expensive means of generating solar power using large buildings. The new solar collectors would be ...

Researchers at MIT feel that in just three years they should be able to begin collecting solar energy on the windows of large buildings. With their recent innovation, the energy would be transferred out to the edges of the windows, where it would be collected on panels.

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Which of the following is currently a hindrance to more widespread use of solar power?

Both the current state of solar battery technology, and the cost of solar panels, are hindrances to more thorough harnessing of this vast, renewable source of energy.

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To solve the problem inherent in the use of expensive silicon, Harvard researchers are looking to create solar cells out of ...

Research on plastic solar cells indicates that they hold great promise in reducing the cost of solar power. As for plants, they do collect sunlight and convert it into energy through photosynthesis, but the only way humans know how to tap that energy so far is the old-fashioned way: by eating them!

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About This Quiz

The harnessing of solar power to provide electricity and heat in a controlled way is a major subject of research for the years ahead. How much do you know about one of the oldest, and newest, forms of energy known to man?

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