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Solar Energy

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Gabriela Ventura

on 27 April 2010

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Transcript of Solar Energy

Solar Energy What is Solar Energy? Solar power technology captures energy from the sun example #1: solar cells- photovoltaic cells
example #2: solar water heaters- solar collectors on roof
example #3: solar furnaces- concentrate all the sunlight to into one point using reflectors such as mirrors Solar energy technology captures the energy from the sun: solar cells, solar water heaters, solar furnaces Uses How Does Solar Energy Produce Energy? Plants convert solar energy into chemical energy through photosynthesis Solar energy can be direct or indirect and active or passive Solar thermal: uses energy from the sun directly to generate heat. Solar panels can be used to collect heat from the sun to capture its heat and transfer it for water and space heating in buildings. 2 Types of Energy Photovoltaic: this method converts the sun’s power into electricity. Advantages Saves you money. After the initial investment has been recovered, the energy from the sun is practically FREE It is environmentally friendly. Solar energy is clean, renewable and sustainable Solar energy does not contribute to global warning, acid rain or smog Low or No Maintenance required in solar energy systems and they will last for decades No connection to power or gas required Can be installed in remote places Can Be Independently Used Disadvantages The initial cost is the main disadvantage of installing a solar energy system, largely because of the high cost of the semi-conducting materials used in building one Solar panels require a very large space for installation Solar energy cannot be produced during nighttime Public Opposition or Criticism Speed of solar powered cars is less
People may not be able to afford solar energy but maybe in a later lifetime it will be cheaper
Deserts are where the most sun shines and where animals such as the mojave squirrel It's a completly free and inexhaustible fuel source
The sun is one of the most environmentally non-toxic forms of energy
Can be used for heating or powering objects
Can be used instead of other sources that release green house gases and abundant amounts of carbon in the atmosphere Environmental Impact Solar systems generate NO air pollution however the manufacturing can be the biggest problem
Energy is required to manufacture and install solar components, and any fossil fuels used for this purpose will generate emissions
None of these potential hazards is much different in quality or magnitude from the innumerable hazards people face routinely in an industrial society Materials used in some solar systems can create health and safety hazards for workers and anyone else coming into contact with them.
The manufacturing of photovoltaic cells often requires hazardous materials such as arsenic and cadmiumemissions.
The large amount of land required for utility-scale solar power plants. Wildlife protection is a concern
Anticipated Problems High costs Panels are constructed from fragile materials, such as glass, and they must constantly be maintained and often replaced Since each photovoltaic panel has only about 40% efficiency, single solar panels are not sufficient power producers The constant demand for more energy and the cost of solar energy are the main problems created with solar power Only 20 Years ago, solar energy cost 7 times as much Advanced technologies have contributed to the enormous decrease in price, but it is mainly due to the increase in manufacturing volumes, as more and more people realize the benefits of solar energy Solar energy cost will continue to decline as the market continues to grow, making it even more affordable costs Examples A solar hot water system will cost between US $2,000 and $4,000 A photovoltaic system will cost between US $8,000 and $10,000 for a 1kW system. (or $8 - $10 /Watt), An average American family, living in a 3-bedroom home will require a 1.5 - 3kW system, which will cost between US $13,000 and US $27,000, before rebates Can Developing countries afford it? Solar power is an increasing market for more developed countries, which can benefit from less electric expense over time. It is also good for the environment because it replaces the traditional, and in effect harmful, methods of energy production
Applications for this energy source can be from single houses and large electrical grids to cars, exhibiting a versatility perfect for the needs of a developing country
Most areas in developing countries are, well-suited for solar energy, making solar power one of the most widely known renewable energy sources chosen for projects funded there Governments create budgets for solar because of the environmental and economic benefits, which include lower carbon dioxide emissions and the creation of high technology jobs within its industry. The use of high subsidies for stimulating domestic solar markets is led by Japan and Germany
There are many various venues going on to raise and promote money and aid toward solar energy in developing countries
If the prices continue to lower, it will one day be a very cheap and available resource
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