There was an error in this gadget

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Development, deployment and economics

Development, deployment and economics

A parabolic dish and stirling engine system, which concentrates sunlight to produce useful solar power.
Beginning with the surge in coal use which accompanied the Industrial Revolution, energy consumption has steadily transitioned from wood and biomass to fossil fuels. The early development of solar technologies starting in the 1860s was driven by an expectation that coal would soon become scarce. However development of solar technologies stagnated in the early 20th century in the face of the increasing availability, economy, and utility of coal and petroleum.[104]
The 1973 oil embargo and 1979 energy crisis caused a reorganization of energy policies around the world and brought renewed attention to developing solar technologies.[105][106] Deployment strategies focused on incentive programs such as the Federal Photovoltaic Utilization Program in the US and the Sunshine Program in Japan. Other efforts included the formation of research facilities in the US (SERI, now NREL), Japan (NEDO), and Germany (Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE).[107]
Commercial solar water heaters began appearing in the United States in the 1890s.[108] These systems saw increasing use until the 1920s but were gradually replaced by cheaper and more reliable heating fuels.[109] As with photovoltaics, solar water heating attracted renewed attention as a result of the oil crises in the 1970s but interest subsided in the 1980s due to falling petroleum prices. Development in the solar water heating sector progressed steadily throughout the 1990s and growth rates have averaged 20% per year since 1999.[39] Although generally underestimated, solar water heating and cooling is by far the most widely deployed solar technology with an estimated capacity of 154 GW as of 2007.[39]

Electrical generation

Electrical generation

The PS10 concentrates sunlight from a field of heliostats on a central tower.
Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly using concentrated solar power (CSP). CSP systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. PV converts light into electric current using the photoelectric effect.
Commercial CSP plants were first developed in the 1980s, and the 354 MW SEGS CSP installation is the largest solar power plant in the world and is located in the Mojave Desert of California. Other large CSP plants include the Solnova Solar Power Station (150 MW) and the Andasol solar power station (100 MW), both in Spain. The 80 MW Sarnia Photovoltaic Power Plant in Canada, is the world’s largest photovoltaic plant.

Energy from the Sun

Energy from the Sun

About half the incoming solar energy reaches the Earth's surface.
The Earth receives 174 petawatts (PW) of incoming solar radiation (insolation) at the upper atmosphere.[1] Approximately 30% is reflected back to space while the rest is absorbed by clouds, oceans and land masses. The spectrum of solar light at the Earth's surface is mostly spread across the visible and near-infrared ranges with a small part in the near-ultraviolet.[2]
Earth's land surface, oceans and atmosphere absorb solar radiation, and this raises their temperature. Warm air containing evaporated water from the oceans rises, causing atmospheric circulation or convection. When the air reaches a high altitude, where the temperature is low, water vapor condenses into clouds, which rain onto the Earth's surface, completing the water cycle. The latent heat of water condensation amplifies convection, producing atmospheric phenomena such as wind, cyclones and anti-cyclones.[3] Sunlight absorbed by the oceans and land masses keeps the surface at an average temperature of 14 °C.[4] By photosynthesis green plants convert solar energy into chemical energy, which produces food, wood and the biomass from which fossil fuels are derived.[5]

Solar energy more

Solar energy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nellis Solar Power Plant in the United States, one of the largest photovoltaic power plants in North America.
Renewable energy
Wind Turbine
Biofuel
Biomass
Geothermal
Hydroelectricity
Solar energy
Tidal power
Wave power
Wind power
v · d · e
Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation, along with secondary solar-powered resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass, account for most of the available renewable energy on earth. Only a minuscule fraction of the available solar energy is used.
Solar powered electrical generation relies on heat engines and photovoltaics. Solar energy's uses are limited only by human ingenuity. A partial list of solar applications includes space heating and cooling through solar architecture, potable water via distillation and disinfection, daylighting, solar hot water, solar cooking, and high temperature process heat for industrial purposes.To harvest the solar energy, the most common way is to use solar panels.
Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute solar energy. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors to harness the energy. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.

Solar energy

Solar Energy
Picture of sun We have always used the energy of the sun as far back as humans have existed on this planet. As far back as 5,000 years ago, people "worshipped" the sun. Ra, the sun-god, who was considered the first king of Egypt. In Mesopotamia, the sun-god Shamash was a major deity and was equated with justice. In Greece there were two sun deities, Apollo and Helios. The influence of the sun also appears in other religions – Zoroastrianism, Mithraism, Roman religion, Hinduism, Buddhism, the Druids of England, the Aztecs of Mexico, the Incas of Peru, and many Native American tribes.
We know today, that the sun is simply our nearest star. Without it, life would not exist on our planet. We use the sun's energy every day in many different ways.
When we hang laundry outside to dry in the sun, we are using the sun's heat to do work – drying our clothes.
Plants use the sun's light to make food. Animals eat plants for food. And as we learned in Chapter 5, decaying plants hundreds of millions of years ago produced the coal, oil and natural gas that we use today. So, fossil fuels is actually sunlight stored millions and millions of years ago.

soler energy introduction



Introduction
Photo Credit: Flickr.com Energy is one of the most fundamental parts of our universe.
We use energy to do work. Energy lights our cities. Energy powers our vehicles, trains, planes and rockets. Energy warms our homes, cooks our food, plays our music, gives us pictures on television. Energy powers machinery in factories and tractors on a farm.
Energy from the sun gives us light during the day. It dries our clothes when they're hanging outside on a clothes line. It helps plants grow. Energy stored in plants is eaten by animals, giving them energy. And predator animals eat their prey, which gives the predator animal energy.

Everything we do is connected to energy in one form or another.
Energy is defined as:  "the ability to do work."
When we eat, our bodies transform the energy stored in the food into energy to do work. When we run or walk, we "burn" food energy in our bodies. When we think or read or write, we are also doing work. Many times it's really hard work!