What is Solar power: Definition and 63 Discussions

Solar power is the conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), indirectly using concentrated solar power, or a combination. Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and solar tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. Photovoltaic cells convert light into an electric current using the photovoltaic effect.Photovoltaics were initially solely used as a source of electricity for small and medium-sized applications, from the calculator powered by a single solar cell to remote homes powered by an off-grid rooftop PV system. Commercial concentrated solar power plants were first developed in the 1980s. As the cost of solar electricity has fallen, the number of grid-connected solar PV systems has grown into the millions and gigawatt-scale photovoltaic power stations are being built. Solar PV is rapidly becoming an inexpensive, low-carbon technology to harness renewable energy from the Sun. The current largest photovoltaic power station in the world is the Pavagada Solar Park, Karnataka, India with a generation capacity of 2050 MW.The International Energy Agency projected in 2014 that under its "high renewables" scenario, by 2050, solar photovoltaics and concentrated solar power would contribute about 16 and 11 percent, respectively, of worldwide electricity consumption, and solar would be the world's largest source of electricity. Most solar installations would be in China and India. In 2019, solar power generated 2.7% of the world's electricity, growing over 24% from the previous year. As of October 2020, the unsubsidised levelised cost of electricity for utility-scale solar power is around $36/MWh.

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  1. Cosmology2015

    Tension at a SPD for Solar Power System

    Hello there! I am using a Surge Protection Device (SPD) for Solar Power System. My home uses a 3-phase system (380V and 220V at each phase). What should be the tension between the phase and ground at the SPD? And between the ground and neutral? Should be any tension at all? God bless all. PS. My...
  2. S

    Citizen explorer tries to explain the Ivanpah Solar Power Towers

    First, here is a riddle: Why did the tortoise cross the road? Because an under-pass was available. An adventurer and desert explorer visited and tried to explain the workings of the solar powered towers at Ivanpah, in the Mojave Desert in California. The person is not any kind of scientist nor...
  3. F

    Hydro Power is Actually Solar Power

    Hydroelectric power, effected usually by damming a river, is ordinary considered an example of energy produced by gravitational potential. However, from an ultimate perspective, hydro power is actually an example of solar power. Water must drop to a lower gravitational potential to extract...
  4. BWV

    Solar power: a looming environmental disaster?

    Had not seen much discussion of this, but of course PV cells are semiconductors with a finite life and will have to be disposed of within a decade or two https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2104162/chinas-ageing-solar-panels-are-going-be-big-environmental-problem
  5. V

    Secondary Mirror in Solar Concentrator Dish Designs

    I have been looking at various solar power dish designs. They have one thing in common, they all have their power generators located at the focal point. Why don't any of the designs use a secondary mirror located at the focal point and the generator located center of dish and right behind it...
  6. N

    US solar power generation for 2014-17

    Solar generation results for US are out for 2017. Year over year: http://www.eia.gov/electricity/annual/html/epa_01_02.html https://www.eia.gov/electricity/annual/pdf/epa.pdf US: Net Generation (Thousand Megawatthours) 2014 Solar: 17691 (that's 0.43%) All sources: 4093606 US: Net Generation...
  7. D

    I Explanation for the hyperbolic array of light rays.

    Hello, Recently, a solar power tower plant was founded next to where I work. Since it's the tallest object in the area, it's quite hard to miss it. But apart from that, every morning the reflected light is arranged in a hyperbolic- like way, as you can see in the picture. Does anyone have a...
  8. F

    Harnessing Solar Power for a Sustainable Farm

    I am working on a solar trough power plant to power my farm and greenhouses.
  9. J

    Solar power thermodynamics

    Does use of solar panels or other radiation capturing technologies in itself warm the earth? Since solar energy is radiated partially back to space, then, when a portion of it is captured and converted to electricity which performs work and rseleases heat (e.g. in transmission lines) it would...
  10. A

    Amplifying the voltage from a homemade battery.... In rural Africa

    Hi PF! Though I've lurked here for some time, this is the first time I've created an account. I'm a volunteer in a country in West Africa. The school I teach at has a tiny library with 4 small dell PC's and a printer that were donated some time ago. A grant was used years ago to buy a battery...
  11. N

    My Plug And Play Solar Energy System

    Hi everyone, i'd like to share my packaged (plug and play) solar system project that I assembled at home. I used mostly standard parts such as a charge controller, inverter, 12 Volt UPS battery, and a pair of NEMA 5-15 R power outlets. I built the automatic transfer switch and battery...
  12. N

    US solar power generation for 2014-16

    Solar generation results for US are out for 2016. Year over year: http://www.eia.gov/electricity/annual/html/epa_01_02.html US: Net Generation (Thousand Megawatthours) 2014 Solar: 17691 (that's 0.43%) All sources: 4093606 https://www.eia.gov/electricity/annual/pdf/epa.pdf: US: Net Generation...
  13. C

    B Aim the solar furnace up :)

    If one was to create an array of X amount of mirrors tracking the sun and shining on a targeted spot in the sky to create ions at specific elevations similar to a ladder, could this cause an ion column to create a continuous charge of energy from the upper atmosphere to hit the ground? Lets...
  14. Brandon91man

    Electrical DIY Solar Power System: Questions & Answers

    Hello, I've been building my own solar panel system and throughout this process I've accumulated a lot of questions. If anyone could help answer them I would greatly appreciate it! First I'll start off explaining what I have. A polycrystalline solar panel 17V 2.2A and a mono crystalline panel...
  15. R

    Near solar mirror for beam propulsion and space solar power

    NASA just announced a solar probe to travel quite close to the Sun, about 3.7 million miles from the solar surface: Nasa’s hotly anticipated solar mission renamed to honour astrophysicist Eugene Parker. Renamed the Parker Solar Probe to honour solar astrophysicist who predicted high speed solar...
  16. Stavale8099

    Solar power, battery charging, and inverters

    Hello, I'm trying to teach myself ...still learning...but I'm stumbling. I have a 15W solar panel whose output is 5V and 2.1A. I wish to charge a 12V battery (98Wh/8800mAh), but am unsure how to do this calculation as approximate time it would take (Assume sunny days - I know it's an...
  17. C

    System Design of a Solar Power System

    Homework Statement I'm doing an assignment on cathodic protection systems using solar energy and have no idea on how to construct an efficient system. All the ones online are too basic and don't specify whether the panels are in series or parallel or not. I've calculated that the system needs...
  18. wolram

    The future of solar power

    If you can spare the time to listen to this ADVERT, do you believe solar power will over take oil? http://pro.moneyweekresearch.com/FTI-launch-29AIMAD/PFTIS7A1/Full?h=true
  19. Z

    What is the forefront of research in energy?

    Essentially, I'm wondering (knowing virtually nothing at present), what is at the front of modern research in the realm of energy. Whether this be renewable energy, or simply more efficient ways of using energy (e.g. fuel cells?). I assume nuclear fusion will be mentioned too, so what obstacles...
  20. J

    Solar power and power loss over distance

    I was having a discussion with a friend, and my side of the argument was that for solar to work you also need a lot of fossil fuel running in the back ground just during the day, making it very expensive. Let's take New york as an example. Let's assume they have enough solar panels to produce...
  21. B

    Solar power market opportunities from technical point of view

    Hi guys, So, I'm a bit of an entrepreneur working on a social solar (small scale) endeavour in developing countries. However, I am wanting to build a sustainable company from standing out from the crowd in the solar industry. I'm just wondering if any of you have had experience with solar...
  22. G

    Back up battery for solar power

    Say you have to power a simple motor with a solar panel, but that panel does not always supply the necessary power. What is the simplest circuit that could combine a DC motor, Solar panel and battery backup to ensure that the motor will continue running even when the solar panel cannot supply power?
  23. B

    I need your help for my solar power greenhouse fan project

    Hello everyone, Firstly thank you for taking the time to read this! I am a complete electrics beginner, so forgive anything stupid I say. I'm also typing this on a phone, so sorry for the odd nonsensical word! So here is what I am trying to do: I have a small greenhouse, the plastic kind...
  24. J

    Solar Power Islanding - Jake Platt

    Hello, My company operates a 1.6MW solar power system in a net metering configuration in CA. Of course the inverter shuts the system down if the grid goes down. My question is can I somehow "island" the system using a transfer switch so I can continue to generate power if the grid goes down...
  25. A

    Thesis Title - Space Based Solar Power (recommendations)

    Hello. Here is my executive summary. Anyhave have recommendations for the titles. Originally it is "Space Based Solar Power: A System Review". It's short, snappy, but it doesn't quite portray my thesis and I am specifically looking at one type of SBSP system. But it is unconventional, so...
  26. marciokoko

    Concentrated Solar Power Plant Design

    Hello, We are a solar energy solutions provider and we are looking to explore CSP plants at smaller scales. I would like to understand the design better. Basically a CSP consists of: 1) steam turbine 2) solar energy collectors (mirrors) 3) water container (boiler) I would like to...
  27. E

    Solar Power - Photovoltiac cell confusion

    I have been trying to understand how PV cells work in solar panels and have become a bit confused, here is what I have read so far: The PV cell is basically a PN junction diode with a conductive connection on the P and N material between this connection there is a load, a lamp for example...
  28. A

    Space Based Solar Power practical project

    Hello, I'm doing a project on SBSP and we have a few months to complete it, and in my written report I will be going over NASA's data they collected from their attempts. Calculating efficiencies and otheer variables between different stages of transmission, e.g. first from the sun radi to PV...
  29. M

    Practical problem - fill 1000 liter water tank with pump using solar power

    Hi all. This is my first post so please forgive me if I write anything wrong or post on wrong forum. In the attachment below I have a problem. I need to buy a water pump (PUMPA in img) that works on 12 or 24 volt DC current being powered with solar panels. This pump must be able to fill a...
  30. S

    Thermodynamics and Concentrated Solar Power

    I am interested in building a thermal solar collector. I'm mostly interested in using the heat directly but there's always a need for electricity. The trouble is converting heat into electricity is pretty inefficient no matter how you do it. Consider a peltier device. A typical one, depending...
  31. Lebombo

    Cost of Solar Power: $9000/KW - Learn How It's Calculated

    This is the description I'm reading: In comparison to solar energy, the hydrocarbon fuel costs are significantly lower without rebates, tax benefits nor the cost of carbon emissions. A two–Kilowatt (KW) solar energy system costs about $45,000 and covers roughly half of a typical American...
  32. Pengwuino

    Guesstimate my solar power potential

    I've been seriously considering uhm... telling my parents that they should put solar panels on their roof :P I wanted to get a decent estimation as to whether or not the idea is silly. What kind of things should I look into to determine whether or not this will be a financially viable option? We...
  33. T

    Best Method of Focusing Solar Power

    If I keep this up, I'm going to get a rep around here :). So, I recently acquired a fiberglass satellite dish which I plan to use for building a cheap, solar powered distillation machine. The idea is to have the dish, calculate the focal point, and run a double glass plated chamber at the focal...
  34. S

    Space based solar power.

    What is the biggest hurdle for building a space based solar power system? is it the cost? All the space faring countries can come together and launch each part separately and then assemble them together just like the ISS right? Is it the transmission of power from the satellite to...
  35. N

    Is Residential Solar Power a No-Cost Solution for Homeowners?

    I am having my home evaluated by a SunRun, Home Depot and bpsolar consortium. There was a booth in a Home Depot store in NJ. The "deal in brief": I supply the roof area for solar and they get permits, build,install, maintain and pay for the entire solar system. Then they sell me power under...
  36. J

    Parking System Uses Solar Power to Charge Electric Vehicles

    This futuristic parking system was designed by Jin Yuanbiao, Gang Tang and Su Sha especially for the all-electric vehicle dubbed Solar Coco. Both the car and the parking system boast nice design and eco-friendly features. The round-shaped vehicle hassolar panels mounted on the roof. When...
  37. C

    Solar power plant: steam quality questions

    Hey guys, I'm an engineer working on the design of a small start up solar power plant. The solar power plant will operate using "solar troughs" instead of the traditional photovoltaic cells. In these systems water is the working fluid and sunlight is focused from a solar reflector onto a pipe...
  38. R

    Fraction solar power due to UV

    Hello, I was wondering what fraction of the energy delivered by the sun is due to UV-radiation. For example, when I have a solar panel which "catches" 1kJ of solar energy. What will happen if there would be no UV frequencies in the solar spectrum? How many percent less energy will I capture...
  39. T

    Equating solar power to usable heat

    I am hoping to find how to determine the heat available from focused and concentrated sunlight. I am not confident in my math skills or understanding of some terms, so will describe what I want to do and how I expect to accomplish it. I mostly need an overview and some specific details or...
  40. A

    Revolutionizing Solar Power: Innovative Ways to Harness Energy from Light Waves

    Hello, I am not sure if I am posting in the right place, but here are my thoughts. I don't exactly understand how solar cell works, but it has to do with photons knocking out electron which makes the current flow. So I thought about the WiFi based charger. It generates electricity from...
  41. R

    Calculate Solar Power Requirements: Formula for Home Energy Needs

    If all energy can be traced back to the sun, how would you calculate how much sun is needed to provide power to a home for one year? Is there a formula?
  42. rootX

    News Feasibility of Wind and Solar Power in Ontario

    http://greeninc.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/21/samsung-signs-66-billion-deal-to-build-wind-and-solar-power-in-ontario/?scp=1&sq=Ontario%20wind%20and%20solar&st=cse Would it be feasible?
  43. U

    Space Based Solar Power Generation.

    I know that this has been proposed as a possibility for large scale power generation for many years, but according to this new article it seems that at least one power company is very serious about getting this up and running in the very near future. Any thoughts on this? Do you think it will...
  44. C

    Solar power AC units, soon or never?

    It seems to me that solar power and air conditioning are made for each other. As of now there are several different companies making smaller adsorption/absorption AC units, but they are overpriced compared to their electric driven counterparts giving limited return on investment. Here's what...
  45. S

    How big would a solar power cell need to be

    How big would a solar power cell need to be...to power a 0.5 A load (240v)? How about 1 A?2? 10? 50? Just curious.
  46. D

    Programs Exploring Bachelor in Electrical Engineering for Solar Power

    i am planning to go for a bachelor in electrical engineering, but I am not sure if it is right for solar power.
  47. Ivan Seeking

    PG&E makes deal for space solar power

  48. O

    Solving the Solar Power Puzzle in the US

    Hey guys, so I missed like the last week of classes due to me being sick all the time but I got a homework problem that I am pretty sure I would have learned if I were in class last week but here it is: The area of the continental United States is approximately 3.5 x 10^6 mi^2, and its...
  49. T

    Exploring the Mathematics of Solar Power: From High School to Graduate Level

    iam interested to know if there is any simpleish maths behind any form of solar power? it can be undergraduate or end of high school level but i just want to know if there is anything out there that (doesnt have to be specific, it can be a theoretical and a bit off in measurement) can...
  50. Andre

    Can Space-Based Solar Power Solve the Energy Crisis?

    Not sure where to put this, but the main scope is energy and that's physics. http://spacesolarpower.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/final-sbsp-interim-assessment-release-01.pdf [Broken] Looks like we may have solutions here.