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Anyone can help me about solar energy, discussion only

  1. Aug 6, 2009 #1
    anyone can help me about solar energy, discussion only.,tnx
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 6, 2009 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Solar

    Welcome to the PF. Your question is much too broad. Do you have a specific question in mind? You can learn much about the topic at wikipedia:


  4. Aug 6, 2009 #3
    Re: Solar

    Quick, general response:
    Solar energy is typically broken down between applications revolving around heating or applications in which solar panels supply electrical energy.
    Both applications are dependent upon the intensity, duration, and occurrence of usable sunlight. For example, Mesa Arizona has plenty of bright shiny days, hence is a likely candidate for a solar project. Boston Massachusetts is close to being opposite. There are many overcast days. Because of this and night time, the average power from a solar facility will be significantly less than it's peak. I was often told that 1/4 - 1/7 of a systems capacity will be the average. Obviously that will vary consierably from Las Vegas to Seattle.
    While applications of solar heating have come and gone, the most prevalent use has been that of producing hot water. Particularly in poorer countrys, such as India, houshold solar collectors have made inroads as water heaters.
    Solar electricity produced form solar cells has had more diverse applications, primarily being applied for remote power applications and research studies, but now moving into a new era of producing electricity for power utilities.
    Solar produced electricity is by it's nature intermittant, so it's application must be flexible. Hence practical application of solar panels was promoted early for remote water pumps. In remote locations, the expense of installing power lines outweighed the expense of solar panels and the water could be stored in ponds or tanks between operations.
    Other applications of remote solar electricity take advantage of batteries to operate emergency equipment, lighting, and communications equipment. In more recent years, even owners of recreational vehicles have taken to installing solar panels as a means of augmenting their generators.
    The most probable reason that solar electrity has not been more widespread is that manufacturing costs of the panels has been high, and they are not a dense form of energy. The indivual elements of the panel have historically been manufactured by growing ultra-ultra-pure crystals of silicon from and ultra pure melt, which in turn must be refined even more and eventually sawed. Then, after these wafers are properly processed, connected together, and protected you have a panel that perhaps has enough energy to light a 60 or 100 watt lamp at the peak of day. All that, and it's now cost you 600-800 dollars, typically. It requires scores of such panels to power a typical home, and the price of electricty is not nearly as expensive in comparison.
    There has been progress though. New techniques of growing sheet crystals and directly growing silicon on a substrate are promising to bring the cost down. Much of this work is being performed in Europe, including Germany, where solar "farms" are beginning to appear.
    Germany, though, is not an optimal climate for collecting rays, so there are currently discussions regarding the development of solar farms in the middle east, where the proceeds will go to aid impoversed regions. Part of such plans would include the dounting task of getting the electricity across thousands of miles to where it would be marketed.
    . I hope this gives you a start,
    . Best Wishes,
    . - Mike
  5. Aug 7, 2009 #4
    Re: Solar

    tnx to all.,
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