[updated March 2021]
Solar experts and installers have found that when a family decides to install rooftop solar panels on their home, their children understandably become interested in solar energy and solar power systems. We want to help parents explain solar power and the benefits of solar energy systems to their kids. However, the complexities of solar energy can quickly become confusing, even for adults. So we broke down and simplified some main points about solar power and provided fun facts specifically catered to interest kids!
Kid-Friendly Solar Energy Facts
The sun is full of energy and solar energy comes from sunlight that reaches earth! The amount of sunlight that reaches earth varies depending on location, time of day, time of year, and weather conditions.
The sun has produced energy for billions of years! This means solar energy has been used by people for hundreds of years to cook food, keep warm, and to dry clothes. Today, it is also used to create electricity.
Solar cells turn light from the sun into electricity. Solar cells are also called photovoltaic cells. ‘Photo’ is Latin for light and ‘voltaic’ means electricity.
Solar cells are put together to make solar panels, sometimes called a “solar array.” Solar panels are put on your home’s roof to collect sunlight and turn it into power. If you have seen big shiny panels on the roof of a house, that house is using solar energy! Solar energy can be used to power anything in your house that needs electricity.
Watch Bill Nye Explain How it Works!
Solar Panels are not just for houses. In fact, solar panels are used all around us to power many different things. Solar panels can be put on food trucks, cars, boats, buildings and space satellites. There are even planes that run on solar power! Solar panels can also be used to power smaller things such as calculators and the orange flashing highway signs that warn us about a traffic jam or a closed exit.
Solar energy is good for the planet! It does not create pollution like energy from coal and oil. We waste energy to make power from coal and oil. No energy is wasted when using solar power!
Solar is our energy future, so it only makes sense to teach the future generation about the benefits of the sustainable energy source. If you are interested in installing solar PV panels on your roof, talk to your kids or younger siblings about it! We think you’ll be surprised by their response! Who knows, your talk may even spark an interest in a future solar career!