Solar Sizzle: 8 Fun Facts That Shine

April 5, 2023

By Radha Maithili Sekharamantry

Image source: Alamy

Did You Know

Earth receives enough solar energy in one hour to power the world for an entire year? Get a whole new perspective on solar power with these 8 fun facts.

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Solar Rain Experiment

1970s scientists used mirrors to heat water with solar power and create artificial rain by focusing energy onto clouds.

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Solar Panel

Bell Labs developed the first solar panel in 1954. Its efficiency was only 4%, compared to today's panels that reach 20–25%. During the 1960s, solar panels were used to power satellites.

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Largest Solar Tree

The ‘Largest Solar Tree’ is located at the CSIR-CMERI-Centre of Excellence for Farm Machinery in Ludhiana, India. It generates 12 kW of solar power using its photovoltaic panel branches.

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Globe-trotting Solar Plane

Solar Impulse 2, a solar-powered aeroplane, made history by completing the first solar-powered flight around the world; it took 14 months to accomplish this feat.

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Largest Solar Boat

MS Tûranor PlanetSolar, the largest solar-powered boat in the world, completed a trip around the world in 160 days, demonstrating the potential of solar-powered marine transportation.

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Tallest Solar-powered Ferris Wheel

High Roller, the world's tallest Ferris wheel, in Las Vegas has a 100% LED lighting system powered by over 2,000 solar panels.

Image Source: Fringe2013, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

World’s Largest Solar Cooking System

The world's largest solar cooking system is located in the state of Gujarat, India. The system uses parabolic mirrors to concentrate the sun's energy and can cook food for over 35,000 people per day.

Image Source: NSF/NSO/AURA, CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Largest Solar Telescope

The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) is the largest solar telescope in the world. With its 4-meter mirror, it can observe the Sun with unprecedented resolution, allowing scientists to gain a better understanding of solar activity and its impacts on our planet.