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A Solar panels vs reflecting surface?

  1. Sep 4, 2016 #1
    Assuming that a black solar panel has an efficiency of 20%. This energy could be used instead of burning oil and decreasing co2 emission. But the black color also accumulates a significant amount of the solar energy in to heat locally on planet surface.

    Comparing this with a white panel (non solar) that would reflect back a lot more solar energy into space. In a global perspective, what gives best effect in reducing global heating?/ Thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 4, 2016 #2

    sophiecentaur

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    A reflective surface is what you want - but you will need to put white reflectors (or mirrors) over a vast area of land in order to make a substantial hole in the net energy arriving here. I have often thought that loads of whit paint, all over the most desolate areas of desert, could perhaps make a difference to our situation. It would require maintenance, of course! ('Painting the Forth Bridge' pales into insignificance as an on-going project).
    Houses should, of course, all have thermal and PV panels on all suitable surfaces. I see the UK's Green Deal has died a death. That could have made a real difference to us, locally if it had continued and been encouraged. Danged politicians again.
     
  4. Sep 4, 2016 #3
    PV panels are black or dark blue as far as I know so is it obvious that its better to put up a PV-panel compared to just paint the same surface white?
    Yes one would need to brighten up a big area to make any difference :) Perhaps something that floats in the ocean water?
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
  5. Sep 4, 2016 #4

    sophiecentaur

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    Problem: within a few months, marine life forms would coat the reflective stuff and it would be 'brown'. A covering with a shiny biocide (antifoul paint) would bring the environmentalists down on you like a ton of bricks. :smile:
     
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