Solar energy is renewable, environmentally friendly and, by itself, free. However, modern technology is required to convert the sun’s energy, but no fossil fuels are needed to create a sustainable source of electricity. The sun produces about 1,300 watts of energy per square meter. The surface of the earth receives close to 1,000 watts per square meter, at the high point of the sun with no clouds. On average, every square meter of the earth receives 4.2 kilowatts of energy per day.
This energy from the sun must be collected and converted to electricity for use. Because the amount of sunlight hitting a specific area is subject to change, a storage device must be used to provide a consistent source of power, if conversion to electricity is desired. Finally, the direct current (DC) electricity from the sun must be converted to alternating current (AC) for regular household or commercial use.