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How do solar panels work? - Richard Komp


47,071 Questions Answered

TEDEd Animation

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The Earth intercepts a lot of solar power: 173,000 terawatts. That’s 10,000 times more power than the planet’s population uses. So is it possible that one day the world could be completely reliant on solar energy? Richard Komp examines how solar panels convert solar energy to electrical energy.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

Would you like some more resources on solar energy? Visit this site with links to other places where solar cells and their use are discussed including the MAINE SUN, Quarterly newsletter of the Maine Solar Energy Association. Another place for resources includes: The American Solar Energy Society Website, which has the Solar Today magazine and many links and publications.

Find out more about Skyheat, its history and goal. For two essential books on the topic, check out the educator’s texts: Practical Photovoltaics and THE SOLAR ELECTRIC HOME. Joel Davidson & Richard Komp. aatec Publications, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1983.

Want to test your knowledge about solar energy? Visit Energy.Gov and take the Test Your Solar IQ Quiz! What were your results? Are you a solar energy star? The SciShow also sheds some light on Solar Energy here! Listen and learn. Then, take a look at this TED Ed lesson: Why aren’t we only using solar power?

The New York Times has a large amount of resources on solar energy. Visit the site and peruse the time-line of solar energy activity for the last year across the world. The Union of Concerned Scientists has some wonderful resources about how photovoltaics began. What is the history behind photovoltaics? Finally, NPR has a wide selection of recent stories involving solar power, solar panels and the future of solar energy.

Hoping to find some TED Talks on solar energy? Here’s the list of current talks on the topic.

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Richard Komp
  • Script Editor Eleanor Nelsen
  • Director Hernando Bahamon
  • Artist Andrés Felipe Landazábal
  • Animator Ricardo Avila
  • Composer Manuel Borda
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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