What is Solar: Definition and 1000 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. M

    B Solar Wind Particles, - reaching into Earth's magnetic field?

    How many particles (approximately) from the solar wind reach deep into the Earth's magnetic field every second. Possibly measured in mass?
  2. D

    B Using Interference Principles to Increase the Efficiency of Solar Panels

    The use of interference principles in quantum mechanics to convert solar energy into electrical energy can be represented through the concept of quantum dots, or nanoparticles, which have properties that contribute to enhancing the absorption of light and generating the photoelectric effect...
  3. warhammer

    Astronomy Good Book Recommendations on Solar Physics

    Hi, I'm planning to embark on a minor research project on Space Weather with a Professor. As part of getting ready for the project, I've been tasked to study certain important aspects of Solar Physics & understand conceptual ideas. Can anybody recommend good books or even descriptive papers on...
  4. J

    B Could you use the moon to reflect sunlight onto a solar sail?

    I dont know much and you can dumb it down as much as you like or not. I've recently gotten very curious about light propulsion and i was reading that if a laser or beam of light was directed at a solar sail it could generate mass amounts of energy and be used to travel to deep(er) space. I was...
  5. B

    ‘Our clouds take their orders from the stars,’ Henrik Svensmark on cosmic rays controlling cloud cover and thus climate

    Henrik Svensmark and Nigel Calder's Book The Chilling Stars mentions Svensmark's paper and experiments that apparently show that global cloud cover is regulated by cosmic rays which is regulated by the sun or solar and geo- magnetic fields. This fits with remarks by MIT Climatology Professor...
  6. DrClaude

    Stargazing Eye protection while watching a total solar eclipse

    I got myself some glasses for the upcoming solar eclipse, but they are very dark! They work fine for looking at the Sun in all its glory, but I suspect I won't ne able to see anything of interest during the eclipse. Does anyone have experience filtering out the harmful UV while still being...
  7. J

    Solar panel conundrum -- Not enough power?

    I have a student trying to build a simple solar powered vehicle for a high school design thinking class. He solar panel produces about 3.1 V as measured on a multimeter, but will not power the electric motor she had chosen. She tested the motor with a pair of AA batteries (2.9 V on multimeter)...
  8. J

    B Temperature of Solar Wind: Complexities of Measuring Heat in a Stream of Particles

    I read that the solar wind is a stream of particles, primarily electrons and protons, flowing out from the sun at speeds as high as 900 km/s, and at a temperature of 1 million degrees. Using the equipartition theorem, I calculate that a proton moving at 900,000 meters per second exhibits a...
  9. Alex Torres

    Autotransformers in solar energy applications

    Hi!!...There's a growing popularity on these transformers as they are being used to get 120/240 split phase out of a single 120v phase, read a recent comment about them not being as safe as an isolated transformer since their inner windings are not isolated....is an encapsulated general purpose...
  10. T

    From South Warrandyte Victoria Australia

    No Idea what I am expected to disclose here????
  11. camptent

    B Extracting electrical energy from Orbital motion

    If the earth has been revolving around the sun almost perpetually, we should mimic this motion for electric generative purposes or is it not feasible?
  12. E

    I Solar Calendar -- When was the leap day inserted?

    If the year started on, for example, 1 March(in some places during the 15th century), two months later than our present year, when was the leap day inserted? Thank you.
  13. Salah

    Chosing air blowers to force air through a solar heat storage array

    hi guys: i plan to make solar collector using rectangular hollow steel bar 4×8cm filled with gravel as heat storage and blow air through it and direct that air as preheated for gas combustion oven to reduce gas consumption .can i use a normal fan or it has to a blower?
  14. D

    B Could solar sails be used as turbines for power generation?

    It seems as though two advantages to using a solar sail turbine system instead of solar panels would be (1) the sails may not degrade as quickly as the solar panels, and (2) a sail turbine system may be lighter than a solar panel (and therefore less expensive to launch into orbit). The drawback...
  15. D

    Misc. Levitating Metal with a Solar Cooker: A Feasibility Study

    I would like to build what is usually used for heat production and is called a solar cooker. However, I would like to use it to try to levitate a piece of metal. Here are my assumptions: A. aluminum density = 2.7 g / cm^3 B. Sunlight intensity on Earth's surface is about 1000 W / m^2 C...
  16. Astronuc

    B Ultramassive Black Hole (UMB), 30 billion solar masses?

    https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20230329-astronomers-discover-one-of-biggest-black-holes-ever-recorded https://universe.nasa.gov/black-holes/types/ - didn't find this very helpful ESA Euclid mission overview - https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/Euclid_overview (to be...
  17. Borg

    B U.S. Solar Eclipses - Oct. 14, 2023 (Annular) & Apr. 08, 2024 (Total)

    The 2017 total eclipse was awesome and we're going to get another opportunity at totality in the U.S in just over a year from now on Apr. 08, 2024. There will also be an annular eclipse on Oct. 14 this year. Time to start working on those travel plans before all of the hotels are gone. :smile...
  18. Parziter

    Solar System Forces -- Simulating the planetary orbits for my project

    TL;DR Summary: Solar sytem forces on Unity Hello ! For my last year in my school, I've got a project to do, and I wanted to recreate the Solar system with forces on Unity. My forces are Velocity and Acceleration (I'm using the Frenet's formulas). I'm sorry I'm not a physicist and that's why...
  19. Hoon Sol

    A Does the invariable plane of the Solar system have axial precession?

    As the title asks, does the invariable plane of the Solar system have axial precession? And if so, how much and at what rate? I have tried to find an answer to these questions for a while now, but still haven't found any. I recently asked on reddit too, which pointed me to some speculation...
  20. B

    I Solar anomaly and the Antikythera Mechanism

    I'm building a replica of the Antikythera Mechanism; a device that was conceived and manufactured around 50BC. it is an orrery and amongst other things it shows the motion of the five known planets, the sun and the moon when viewed from the earth. I've managed to calculate the motion of the...
  21. S

    How to measure solar panel voltage using arduino?

    I would like to make the solar system a bit smarter. The challenge is that the voltage is high (up to 351Vdc) and the solar negative is typically 40-70V UNDER the "system ground". "System ground" is shared among battery negative, charger negative, inverter ground and ground cable digged down...
  22. S

    Switching between parallel and series connections (solar)

    We're off grid at 57degrees north. Our source of electricity is solar panels, with a diesel generator as backup. The solar has served us well, until this November, where we had almost 8 weeks of 0 sunshine. I got sick of running the generator. It's noisy, it needs refueling, smells... So I...
  23. AmericaPacific42

    Are there cheap smartcar EVs with electric motors attached to wheels?

    There are small 15kw electric motors <$500*. LiFePO4 batteries that offer 60kwh** weigh <50kilograms, cost <$500, take as much space as the gas used to take. The hood could be removed or replaced with extra seats or used for cargo. Ultra-lightweight 3D printed magnesium bodies*** should be...
  24. J

    I Minimum light bulb wattage for solar simulator

    I am trying to design a simple homemade PV solar simulator. I have picked metal-halide lamps as my light source. If the PV panel has an area of 1m^2 and I wanted to achieve spatial uniformity across the irradiated surface with an irradiance of 1000 W/m^2, how do I go about selecting what...
  25. D

    Calculations using the Standard Solar Model & Solar Equations of State

    Assuming the Sun’s core has a mass of 0.35 Msolar_mass and taking values for other quantities from a internet background search or from the following figures (i.e.: Radius "solar core" = 0.25 Rsolar_radius ): ------------------------------------------------------------------------...
  26. Astronuc

    B Ivuna meteorite from edge of solar system to Tanzania?

    Scientists find the source of one of the rarest meteorites to fall on Earth https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/scientists-find-the-source-of-one-of-the-rarest-meteorites-to-fall-on-earth/ar-AA13ejQe Terrestrial modification of the Ivuna meteorite and a reassessment of the chemical...
  27. M

    Calculating total heat transfer by solar water heater

    I have a solar water heater on my deck, with a circulator powered by PV, that pumps heated glycol through a wand heat exchanger placed in an 80 gallon tank. Water comes from the well's pressure tank, passes through this solar pre-heater tank, then into an LPG heater that adds any heat needed. I...
  28. J

    Solar panels, Carrington Event

    Has any research been done to determine the effect a Carrington Event (or close) solar flare would affect solar panels?
  29. anorlunda

    Could we make a practical solar fridge?

    In another thread, @Grinkle asked about a solar fridge project. In the end, he decided against it, but it set me to wondering if it could be done for people living off grid. At this point, I really miss our beloved Jim Hardy. Jim would have brainstormed with me, then he might have gone in...
  30. Grinkle

    Electronics Rule of thumb for derating Solar Energy off-grid energy systems

    I am working on a sanity check for capacity vs load and if anyone here has experience with off-grid solar, any feedback would be much appreciated. The application is to run a fridge and a modem off-grid on a piece of land in New Mexico. I read that in December (worst case month) the area gets...
  31. S

    I Interpreting solar event flux units

    Hi, I wanted to find the number of protons striking a surface area during a solar event and the units provided are: #/(cm^2 s sr). Say I have a 1 m^2 surface area directly facing the sun, how do I use those units to discover the number of protons/s. What is the value of the solid angle to...
  32. P

    Maximum duration of Solar eclipses

    The result I get is 2 hours and 10 minutes. My reasoning is down here. But! Checking the map for the 2024 Solar eclipse, https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/map/2024-april-8, in many locations you can see a partial eclipse of over 2 hours 40 minutes. What is the main source of error here? Here...
  33. Astronuc

    Perovskite semiconductors for solar photovoltaic cells

    I heard this while driving the other day. Progress On Perovskite Solar Cells | Earth Wise with Randy Simon https://earthwiseradio.org/podcast/progress-on-perovskite-solar-cells/ I wanted to check this out. Si melts at about 2,570°F (1,410°C). I'm not sure about 3000°F (1649°C), which...
  34. O

    Self-adjusting orbiting solar shield

    It is widely accepted that global warming caused by accumulating greenhouse gases is happening and, as the late Isaac Asimov pointed out years ago, even if or when this is curbed, if the population remains at similar levels as now then just the waste heat from human activities will eventually be...
  35. TheJP78

    Building a Solar System simulation with python

    Hey'all. First of all, I'm not fluent in English, so forgive me for the spelling mistakes. So, I'm trying to make a simulation of a solar system using python 3.9. It's not complicated, but my teacher wants me to do it using the Basic Verlet method, and that's what is bugging me. He told me do do...
  36. camerart

    Photovoltaic vs. thermal radiator Solar Panel comparison (using a lens)

    Hi, Has anyone experience with photovoltaic solar panels and thermal radiator type solar panels? 1/ How do they compare when both have the same collection area? If the thermal radiator was much smaller than the collection area, and a lens the size of the collection area was used, focused on...
  37. David Lewis

    A solar powered air conditioner

    1. In this system the sun boils Freon in a solar panel. 2. Freon vapor is sent to a turbine or piston motor. 3. Freon discharge from the motor is sent to condenser coils submerged underwater. 4. The cooled, low-pressure Freon is sent back to the solar panel inlet. 5. The Freon-powered motor...
  38. M

    I Does Space Curvature Account for Gravity Between Individual Atoms?

    I am trying to come to terms with the two concepts of gravity, direct attraction between bodies (say dust even) and attribution to the curvature of space (time) Looking at a physical sea coast I can envisage how every instance of the mass gravitational interactions of individual atoms or smaller...
  39. D

    Solar Sails -- What are the current limitations?

    What are the current limitations with solar sails and why are they not used with greater frequency? I have heard of hydrogen blistering -- is that a significant issue?
  40. amazingjoe

    Could you use Solar to power a DC to AC Inverter? (Description below)

    I'd like to take Solar Panel power output and use it to power an AC outlet on the ultra-cheap. I know a lot of people use Solar to connect to a purpose built inverter and also have a battery somewhere in the mix to provide a stable output but wondering if the following (using the assumptions...
  41. Cerenkov

    Could cymatics keep Martian dust off solar panels?

    Hello. I went to my local astronomy club last night and the subject of diminished solar power caused by dust came up in conversation. We looked at images of the Insight mission and these showed a significant build up of said dust. This got me thinking. Could the solar panels of future Mars...
  42. P

    Escape velocity of solar system

    I'm pretty confused by this but I have a few thoughts. Since the sun takes up most of the mass of the solar system, I was thinking maybe I'm really looking for the escape velocity of the sun? So I would use the mass of the sun for M and the radius of the sun for r. My other thought was to add up...
  43. shivajikobardan

    Engineering What is difference between solar radiation and global radiation?

    Solar radiation-: it is em radiation emitted by son. it is short wave radiation. it comes in many forms. 1) visible light 2) radio waves 3) infrared 4) x rays 5) uv rays Global radiation-: it is sum of direct and diffuse radiation arriving at a ground. What are the differences between these two?
  44. S

    Isolate solar charger PWM pulses

    After we got the solar array working, we made all lamps, laptop chargers, most kitchen appliances... run on 48vDC (so that we can have the inverter switched off unless we're running any 220v appliances). Then everyone in the house got a headache. We traced this down to being indoors at daytime...
  45. seanduffy

    I Pool Solar Heating - Help orienting the roof-top solar collector please

    Hello there, Physics forum. I live in Alamo, California and I'm planning to install pool solar. All of the installers have completely different POVs on which face of the roof I should put them, and hoping to get some physics-based advice. Here's the home with the 3 face options (front already...
  46. jedishrfu

    B An Ancient Solar Storm 9200 years ago is Cause for Concern

  47. 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...
  48. B

    Why Are Solar Panels 21-22% efficient? How can efficiency improved?

    How efficient are solar panels? How can their efficiency improve? Besides their benefits, what are the ecological impacts of solar energy?
  49. brochesspro

    I The centripetal acceleration of the planets in our solar system

    Relevant formulae:- Angular velocity in uniform circular motion ##=## ##\omega## ##=## ##\frac {2\pi} t##, where ##t## is the time taken to complete one revolution. Centripetal acceleration in uniform circular motion ##=## ##a## ##=## ##\omega^2r##, where ##r## is the radius of the circular...