The future of solar technology

In summary: This technology holds great promise for the future as it offers a renewable and environmentally friendly alternative to current energy sources."Solar energy being a renewable energy...to fullfill all mankinds need for energy..i don't think so . It'll however make an integral part of everyday life, but most likely nuclear power whether it be fission or fusion will take up a big part of todays and futures demand...What do you think of the future of this technology? Can it become an efficient technology so that it can replace all kinds of energy existing today?There is certainly a future, and a number of energy/technology companies (e.g. Siemens, British Petroleum (BP) and Royal Dutch Shell) realize that, so they have
  • #1
redgoat
37
0
As we all know, Solar cell technology is not widely used around the world. Moreover, it can offer powerful energy as well as reliablities that is some conditions due to cloudy days. What do you think of the future of this technology? Can it become an efficient technology so that it can replace all kinds of energy existing today?
 
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  • #2
Solar energy being a renewable energy...to fullfill all mankinds need for energy..i don't think so . It'll however make an integral part of everyday life, but most likely nuclear power whether it be fission or fusion will take up a big part of todays and futures demand...
 
  • #3
redgoat said:
What do you think of the future of this technology? Can it become an efficient technology so that it can replace all kinds of energy existing today?
There is certainly a future, and a number of energy/technology companies (e.g. Siemens, British Petroleum (BP) and Royal Dutch Shell) realize that, so they have invested in solar technology.

Report - Our Solar Power Future: The U.S. Photovoltaic Industry Roadmap for 2030 and Beyond
http://www.seia.org/media/pdfs/pvroadmap.pdf

Also for further information, Solar Electric Power Association

Solar Electric Power Association Utility Members by Company
http://www.solarelectricpower.org/customer_to_member/default.cfm

Solar Manufacturers and Distributors
http://www.solarelectricpower.org/manufacturers_distributors/default.cfm

Reports -
http://www.solarelectricpower.org/publications/default.cfm

Other solar links -
http://www.solarelectricpower.org/links/default.cfm

========================================

Reports on Solar Dynamic Power Technology

Alexander, D., 1996, "2 kWe Solar Dynamic Ground Test Demonstration Project - Final Report, Vol III: Fabrication and Test Report", NASA CR 198423.

Alexander, D., Feb. 1997, "2kWe Solar Dynamic Ground Test Demonstration Project", Volume I: Executive Summary, NASA CR 198423.

Alexander, D., Feb. 1997, "2kWe Solar Dynamic Ground Test Demonstration Project", Volume II: Design Report, NASA CR 198423.

Alexander, D., Feb. 1997, "2kWe Solar Dynamic Ground Test Demonstration Project", Volume III: Fabrication and Test Report, NASA CR 198423.

Amundsen, P. C. and Harper, W. B., 1993, "BIPS Turboalternator-Compressor Characteristics and Application to the NASA Solar Dynamic Ground Demonstration Program", Proceedings of the 27th Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, Vol. 2, pp. 239-244.

Arkhangelsky, V. I., Chvanov, V. K., Pavlov, K. A. and Samsonov, V. L., Sept. 1995, "Space Closed Brayton Power System Technique", Proceedings of the European Space Power Conference, Paris, France.

Bahnman, D. W. and Jensen, P. A., 1994, "Design of a Solar Concentrator for the Solar Dynamic Ground Test Demonstration Program", Proceedings of the Joint Solar Engineering Conference, ASME,1994., pp. 193-203.

Baker, B. C. and Voss, F. E., "Thermal/Vacuum Testing of an International Space Station Active Thermal Control System Radiator Panel."

Brown, M. A. and Teneza, N. C., 1994, "Solar Concentrator Space Experiment", Proceedings of the Joint Solar Engineering Conference, ASME 1994. pp. 235-244.

Calogeras, J. E. and Dustin, M. O., 1992, "The Ground Testing of a 2kWe Solar Dynamic Space Power System", Proceedings of the 27th Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, Vol. 1, pp. 455-460.

Campbell, J. S. and Jensen, P. A., 1994, "Design, Analysis and Test of a Solar Concentrator for Space Applications", Proceedings of the Joint Solar Engineering Conference, ASME 1994, pp. 205-215.

Davis, J. M. and Wanhainen, J. S., "Solar Dynamic Power System on the International Space Station",

De Groh, K. K., Jaworske, D. A. and Smith, D. C., 1998, "Optical Property Enhancement and Durability Evaluation of Heat Receiver Aperture Shield Materials", Proceedings of the 36th Aerospace Sciences Meeting & Exhibit, January 12-15, 1998, NASA TM 206623.

De Groh, K. K., Burke, C. A., Roig, D. M. and Shah, D. R., 1994, "Performance and Durability of High Emittance Heat Receiver Surfaces for Solar Dynamic Power Systems", Proceedings of the Joint Solar Engineering Conference, ASME 1994, pp. 251-264.

De Groh, K. K., Roig, D. M., Burke, C. A. and Shah, D. R., 1994, "Performance and Durability of High Emittance Heat Receiver Surfaces for Solar Dynamic Power Systems", Proceedings of the 1994 ASME International Solar Energy Conference, NASA TM 106549.

Dever, J. A., Bruckner, E. J. , Scheiman, D. A. and Stidham, C. R., 1994, "Combined Contamination and Space Environmental Effects on Solar Cells and Thermal Control Surfaces", Proceedings of the 18th AIAA Aerospace Ground Testing Conference, NASA TM 106592.

Dobler, F. X., 1978, "Mini-BRU/BIPS 1300 Watte Dynamic Power Conversion System Development", NASA CR-159440.

Dreshfield, R. L., 1996, "Long Time Creep Rupture of Haynesä Alloy 188", Proceedings of the Eighth International Symposium on Superalloys, NASA TM 107191.

Dustin, M. O., et al, 1987, "Advanced Solar Dynamic Space Power Systems Perspectives, Requirements, and Technology Needs", Proceedings of the 1987 Solar Energy Conference, NASA TM 88884.

Fincannon, J., 1995, "Analysis of Shadowing Effects on MIR Photovoltaic and Solar Dynamic Power Systems", Proceedings of the 30th Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, Vol. 1, pp. 461-466.

Fleming, M. L., Flores, R. R. and Sharpe, R. R., "Solar Dynamic Ground Test Demonstration Radiator Design and Test."

Fleming, M. L. and Flores, R. R., 1994, "Solar Dynamic Radiator Design and Development", Proceedings of the Joint Solar Engineering Conference, ASME 1994, pp. 245-250.

Hall, C. A., Glakpe, E. K., Cannon, J. N. and Kerslake, T. W., 1997, "Modeling Cyclic Phase Change and Energy Storage in Solar Heat Receivers."

Hanlon, C., "Feasibility of Demonstration Solar Dynamics on Space Station",
AIAA-94-4199-CP.

Harper, W. B. and Shaltens, R. K., Oct. 16, 1992, "Technical Paper: NASA Solar Dynamic Ground Test Demonstration (GTD) Program and its Application to Space Nuclear Power", Allied Signal Report No. 41-11716.

Huckins, E. and Ahlf, P., "Space Station Power Requirements and Issues", pp. 608-612.

Jaworske, D. A., Jefferies, K. S. and Mason, L. S., 1996, "Alignment and Initial Operation of an Advanced Solar Simulator", Proceedings of the 34th Aerospace Sciences Meeting & Exhibit,

Jefferies, K. S., Ed., 1993, "Solar Dynamic Power System Development for Space Station Freedom", NASA RP1310.

Jefferies, K. S., 1994, "Solar Simulator for Solar Dynamic Space Power System Testing", Proceedings of the Joint Solar Engineering Conference, ASME 1994, pp. 217-222, NASA TM 106393.

Johnson. K. R., 1994, "The New Distributed Computerized Control System of JPL's 25-Ft Space Simulator", Proceedings of the 18th AIAA Aerospace Ground Testing Conference.

Kerslake, T. W. and Fincannon, J., 1995, "Analysis of Solar Receiver Flux Distributions for US/Russian Solar Dynamic System Demonstration on the MIR Space Station", Proceedings of the 30th Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, Vol. 1, pp. 399-404.

Kerslake, T. W. et al, 1997, "High-Flux, High-Temperature Thermal Vacuum Qualification Testing of a Solar Receiver Aperture Shield, Proceedings of the 32nd Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, NASA TM 107505.

Krause, S., 1992, "Investigation of a New Heat-Pipe/Latent-Heat-Storage Receiver Element for Solar Dynamic Space Power Systems", Proceedings of the 27th Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, Vol. 2, pp. 349-357.

Lindner, F. and Stähle, H. J., 1990, "Ceramic Canisters for Lithium Fluoride Thermal Storage Integrated With Solar Dynamic Space Power Systems", Proceedings of the 41st Congress of the International Astronautical Federation,

Mason, L. S. and Kudija, C. T., 1994, "Solar Dynamic Ground Test Demonstration (SD GTD) System Test Plans", Proceedings of the Joint Solar Engineering Conference, ASME 1994, pp. 175-184.

Mason, L. S. et al, 1992, "SP-100 Reactor With Brayton Conversion for Lunar Surface Applications", Proceedings of the Ninth Symposium on Space Nuclear Power Systems, NASA TM 105637.

Mason, L. S. et al, 1997, "Experimental Data for Two Different Alternator Configurations in a Solar Brayton Power System", Proceedings of the 32nd Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, NASA TM 107509.

Mock, E. A., 1994, "Solar Dynamic Ground Test Demonstration (SD GTD) System Orbital and Startup Control Methods", Proceedings of the Joint Solar Engineering Conference, ASME 1994, pp. 185-192.

Namkoong, D., Jacqmin, D. and Szaniszlo, A., 1995, "Effect of Microgravity on Material Undergoing Melting and Freezing - The TES Experiment", Proceedings of the 33rd Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, NASA TM 106845.

Ortner, S. and Krause, S., 1991, "Heat Transfer Predictions for a New Heat-Pipe Latent-Heat-Storage Receiver Element for Solar Dynamic Space Power Systems", Space Power, Vol. 10. No. 2, pp. 239-256.

Shaltens, R. K., 1995, "Overview of the Solar Dynamic Ground Test Demonstration Program at the NASA Lewis Research Center", NASA TM 106876.

Shaltens, R. K. and Boyle, R. V., 1993, "Overview of the Solar Dynamic Ground Test Demonstration Program", Proceedings of the 28th Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, Vol. 2, pp. 831-836, NASA TM 106296.

Shaltens, R. K. and Boyle, R. V., 1994, "Update of the 2 kW Solar Dynamic Ground Test Demonstration Program", Proceedings of the 29th Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, pp. 359-365, NASA TM 106730.

Shaltens, R. K. and Boyle, R. V., 1995, "Initial Results From the Solar Dynamic (SD) Ground Test Demonstration (GTD) Project at NASA Lewis", Proceedings of the 30th Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, pp. 363-368, NASA TM 107004.

Shaltens, R. K. and Mason, L. S., 1996, "500 Hours of Operational Experience From a Solar Dynamic Power System", Proceedings of the 31st Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, Vol. 1, pp. 660-665, NASA TM 107294.

Shaltens, R. K. and Mason, L. S., 1996, "Early Results From Solar Dynamic Space Power System Testing", Journal of Propulsion and Power, Vol. 12, No. 5, pp. 852-858, Sept. - Oct. 1996, NASA TM 107252.

Stähle, H. J. and Lindner, F., 1989, "Development of a High Temperature Storage Unit for Integration With Solar Dynamic Systems", Proceedings of the European Space Power Conference, Oct. 1989, pp. 287-291.

Strumpf, H. J. et al, 1994, "Thermal and Structural Analysis of the Heat Receiver for the Solar Dynamic Ground Test Demonstrator", Proceedings of the Joint Solar Engineering Conference, ASME 1994, pp. 223-234.

Strumpf, H. J. et al., 1997, "Design and Analysis of the Aperture Shield Assembly for a Space Solar Receiver", Proceedings of the 32nd Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, NASA TM 107500.

Tolbert, C. M., 1994, "Selection of Solar Simulator for Solar Dynamic Ground Test", Proceedings of the 29th Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, NASA TM 106608.

Tolbert, C. M. and Robinson, F., 1998, "Experimental Results From the Thermal Energy Storage-2 (TES-2) Flight Experiment", Proceedings of the 36th Aerospace Sciences Meeting & Exhibit, January 12-15, 1998.

Wanhainen, J. S. and Tyburski, T. E., 1995, "Joint US/Russian Solar Dynamic Flight Demonstration Project Plan", Proceedings of the 30th Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, pp. 417-420.
 
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  • #4
Solar has potential, but the main impediment right now is cost. It needs to get cheaper by a factor of 5 (at the consumer level) before its really viable as a replacement for traditional sources of energy.
 
  • #5
This is an intersting data I found. I better quote it!

Berkeley astronomer Don Goldsmith reminds us that the Earth receives about one billionth of the suns energy, and that humans utilize about one millionth of that. So we consume about one million billionth of the suns total energy. At present, our entire planetary energy production is about 10 billion billion ergs per second. But our energy growth is rising exponentially.

My question is: Is our development of technology using solar power catching up fast enough to cope up with the energy demand?
 
  • #6
Reshma said:
My question is: Is our development of technology using solar power catching up fast enough to cope up with the energy demand?
Like I said, technology really doesn't have much to do with it. We, today, have the technology to cover the world's deserts with solar panels to provide for the world's electricity needs. The problem is simply one of cost.

That said, technology will be what fixes the cost issue (if it happens): new technology for cheaper solar panels.
 
  • #7
russ_watters said:
Solar has potential
Could you quantify this?
 
  • #8
At about 1 kW per m^2, best case, I don't see solar as a serious option for anything but call-boxes on the interstate, honestly.

- Warren
 
  • #9
Reshma said:
This is an intersting data I found. I better quote it!

Berkeley astronomer Don Goldsmith reminds us that the Earth receives about one billionth of the suns energy, and that humans utilize about one millionth of that. So we consume about one million billionth of the suns total energy. At present, our entire planetary energy production is about 10 billion billion ergs per second. But our energy growth is rising exponentially.
I wonder if they included the sun's energy which the Earth's biomass captures photosynthetically.
Certainly everything we eat is made though capturing the sun's energy. Wood, coal and petroleum were also made from the sun's energy.
 
  • #10
Yah we could provide solar power to the world if we start covering out desert areas with them. And when we say cover... we litterally mean COVER... as if God rolled out foil wrap across the sahara lol. Economically its an incredible cost. But meh.. let's say energy completely went dry or global warming started causing catastrophic problems and the idea of money was abolished for this special case... we could thankfully support our electrical needs completely from the sun if this worst case scenario came into play.
 
  • #11
Electric solar power only has a future if the solar cells can produce more energy than is consumed in making them - in other words we need a solar powered solar cell manufacturing plant.

As long the energy factor "energy generated by solar cell during life "/"energy to produce" is smaller than 1 then solar power is not a feasible alternative

A solar-powered car or aeroplane does not impress me unless the energy balance is correct
 
  • #12
Pengwuino said:
Yah we could provide solar power to the world if we start covering out desert areas with them. And when we say cover... we litterally mean COVER... as if God rolled out foil wrap across the sahara lol. Economically its an incredible cost. But meh.. let's say energy completely went dry or global warming started causing catastrophic problems and the idea of money was abolished for this special case... we could thankfully support our electrical needs completely from the sun if this worst case scenario came into play.

You are forgetting a very important factor. Desert winds can deposit a lot of dust on the solar cells and dramatically reduce their efficiency. In addition you will need massive batteries for power during the night and during stormy days. Bad weather can cause a lot of damage to the solar cells. Then the thousands of miles of cable that is required.

And the Americas or Australia cannot be fully powered by a solar cell plant in say the Sahara desert. E.g. US will need its own plants. With this comes in the destruction caused by tornados and hurricanes.
 

Related to The future of solar technology

1. What improvements can we expect to see in solar panel efficiency in the future?

Solar panel efficiency has been steadily increasing over the years, and with advancements in technology, we can expect to see even more improvements in the future. Some experts predict that the efficiency of solar panels could reach up to 40% in the coming years, compared to the current average of around 20%. This means that solar panels will be able to convert a higher percentage of sunlight into electricity, making them more efficient and cost-effective.

2. Will solar technology become more affordable in the future?

The cost of solar technology has already decreased significantly in recent years and is expected to continue to decline in the future. This is due to improvements in manufacturing processes, increased competition, and government incentives. As technology advances and becomes more efficient, the cost of production will decrease, making solar technology more affordable for consumers.

3. How will solar technology impact the environment in the future?

Solar technology is already considered a clean and renewable energy source, and it will continue to have a positive impact on the environment in the future. As more people switch to solar energy, there will be a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Additionally, solar panels do not produce any harmful waste and have a long lifespan, making them an environmentally friendly choice for energy production.

4. What advancements can we expect to see in solar storage technology?

Solar storage technology, such as batteries, is crucial for using solar energy when the sun is not shining. In the future, we can expect to see advancements in battery technology, including longer lifespans, higher storage capacities, and faster charging times. This will make solar energy even more reliable and practical for everyday use.

5. Will solar technology be the primary source of energy in the future?

It is difficult to predict the future of energy sources, but many experts believe that solar technology will play a significant role. The cost of solar energy is decreasing, and it is becoming more efficient, making it a viable option for meeting our energy needs. Additionally, as concerns about climate change and the environment continue to grow, the demand for clean and renewable energy sources like solar will likely increase.

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