When it comes to solar energy facts there have been some new discoveries and advancements in technology in recent years.

The time is near when using solar energy will become a normal occurrence in our everyday life. Many now believe that within a few years the use of solar power will be in such high demand that the cost of using it will be low enough to undercut the high costs of oil generated electricity.

In the past it was predicted that it may still take over a decade to happen but that is no longer the situation. Anger over the increase in oil prices recently and the given vulnerability seems to have been enough to bring people, governments and the scientific professionals together to begin to seriously look into new reliable alternative energy sources.

What could possibly be any more reliable than our sun. Homes that are currently using the power of the sun not only benefit from the never ending

energy of the sun but also see an increase in the value of their homes. Many who have homes that use solar power are often even paid for the excess power that they are able to generate to their power grids.

At the present time, photovoltaic cells, plate collectors, and heliostats are used to collect the sun's energy by facing the solar panels toward the sun or by simply building and intalling the panels in places where they will get the most sun light. When technology begins to develop, there is often what we all know as the snowball effect. Once we reach certain aspects of discovery, the speed at which we begin to uncover new developments is often amazingly quick.

Polymer foil is one of those new materials that are being developed at this time. It is as thin as paper and 200 times lighter when compared to the glass collecting plates that are in use today. The fact is that there will most likely come a time in the near future when the demand for this type of development will cause it to have great chances for mass production.

The glass based materials now used to collect the heat often need expensive substrates and require a lot of support simply because of it's weight. The polymer foil will most likely be light enough to be attached simply to the walls of any home or other structure.

Scientists are so confident in the development of this new technology that even while this polymer foil is currently being developed they are also working on the development of a plastic solar cell. This new technology is based on what is known as nano technology and is gaining breakthroughs even now.

It is believed that this plastic cell will even be able to continue to harness the sun's power even on cloudy days. This new breakthrough for harnessing the infrared rays of the sun is thought to be at least five times more efficient than the technology that we are using at the current time.

Although using plastic materials for harnessing the sun's power are by no means something new, the power to actually reap the infrared portion of the sun is a recent development. Current technology is only able to use the visible rays of the sun. The infrared portion is invisible and is a good half the power of the sun which is why this type of plastic will generate even more power at a lower cost than current plastic solar cells.

In other words even the best plastic cells at this time can only harness about 6% of the power of the sun while the new plastic solar cells are anticipated to be able to use up to 30% of the sun's power. This will all be a reality soon because of the studies and developments that are currently being conducted.

Researchers along with scientists believe that at some time in the near future we will be able to generate all of our energy requirements using solar farms. At this time the price for harnessing the sun's power is believed to be up to 3 or 4 times per kilowatt hour than that of conventional electricity. Recent discoveries and the advancement of current technology is expected to lower these costs dramatically and in the very near future.

These flexible plastic solar cells and the polymer foil are just two examples of the technology scientists and researchers are working on to give a cleaner, greener, safer environment that will ultimately free our planet from the dependency we now have on the high cost and ever depleting supply of oil.

These new solar energy facts are an exciting development in technology that will only get better as more research is conducted and more advancements are made available for our energy needs.

Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?Solar-Energy-Facts—New-Breakthroughs-and-Discoveries&id=3569854