...Power of the Sun

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...Power of the Sun

Photosynthesis, the process by which light, water, and carbon dioxide are converted to energy and oxygen, is the basic function used by plants worldwide to create their own fuel. For every other creature on the planet that cannot create their own sustainable energy, we rely on a food chain that begins where this process ends (Mader, 2010, p. 87).

It is not surprising, then, that mankind has attempted to emulate this formula by harnessing the sun’s power to supply the earth with a clean, sustainable energy source akin to how nature enables an entire kingdom of organisms to do this for themselves. Solar panels, which are essentially a large collection of Photovoltaic (PV) cells, are manufactured to become excited with a certain amount of sunlight, breaking off electrons and either redirecting or collecting these channels of currents into usable circuits or storage units like batteries (Anderson, 2012).

Both are similar in their initial design of creating energy out of sunlight, and both do not directly give off any harmful byproducts. Although it has been argued that the manufacture of PV cells and subsequent solar panels is hardly achieved through environmentally-friendly means (and certainly not with green parts), the benefits of the clean and sustainable energy produced far outweighs this temporary blemish in the overall process (Anderson, 2012).

On a final note to the similarities between these two systems, both have an enormous constant source of energy (sunlight) that is transferred into usable energy for either the plants or humans utilizing it. Since the first law of thermodynamics clearly states that energy cannot actually be created or destroyed (Farabee, 2001), both systems have to convert light energy into otherwise usable energy, and the way in which they do…...

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