Solar Energy Notes2017-11-01T18:47:10+00:00


These notes introduce important facts about solar energy and contain links to sites that best explain various concepts.

Solar Energy (Start Here)

Solar Energy is the glow from our nearest star - the Sun. We live in the glow of a star named Sol, and we call it Solar Energy Solar flares   Click ME! I get Bigger! The Earth is actually 150 million kilometers (93 million miles) from the Sun - which is why the Sun looks rather smaller to us (further away) than it appears in this picture. Note that this is a composite image, for comparison of sizes. Photo coutesy SOHO, the Solar and Helioscopic Observatory.  The SOHO site has archived images [...]

By |February 23rd, 2013|Categories: Solar Energy Notes and Links|

Solar Electricity

Solar Cell Types   There are several types of solar cells being developed...a good description is at Understand Solar, a site dedicated to educating the homeowner about solar electricity, here:  Comparing Solar Panels, and the Future of Solar Research. Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells - How They Work Most solar cells are made of silicon, one of the most abundant elements on Earth (after oxygen and iron). Pure silicon forms tetrahedronal crystal lattices (because of its 4 outer valence electrons). We can stress the electron clouds in crystalline sheets of silicon by adding trace amounts of elements that have 3, or [...]

By |January 23rd, 2013|Categories: Solar Energy Notes and Links|

Solar Cars and Boats

Solar Cars Meet Stella, a solar car for today...   It's believed to be the first solar car that can comfortably transport four people.   "The first solar car invented was a tiny 15-inch vehicle created by William G. Cobb of General Motors. Called the Sunmobile, Cobb showcased the first solar car at the Chicago Powerama convention on August 31, 1955." -  "AutomoStory - first cars in history". First solar car   Honda dream, the winning car in the 1996 World Solar Challenge. "...Around the World with the Sun!"  The young Swiss adventurer, Louis Palmer (in 2008) [...]

By |February 22nd, 2013|Categories: Solar Energy Notes and Links|

Climate Change

Concerns about Climate Change (a.k.a. Global Heating) arose because pollution from our combustion activities is changing the composition of the gases in our atmosphere. Some of these new and/or increased gases absorb the out-going infra-red radiation at night-side, keeping that energy in our atmosphere, from where some of it can re-emit to Earth, rather than away into Space. Current CO2 Level in the Earth's Atmosphere During the night we are getting a small back-glow of radiant energy from those gases. The current estimate right now of this radiative forcing is about 2.5 watts per square metre. While this may not seem like [...]

By |January 23rd, 2013|Categories: Solar Energy Notes and Links|

Solar Storage

Solar Power Distribution and Electrical Storage Photovoltaic panels are relatively portable, and the number of them can be matched to the site requirements. It is not necessary to build a huge coal-burning or nuclear-powered plant and then link everything for hundreds of miles around with phenomenal amounts of wire just to get the benefits of water pumping, radios, refrigeration, or night-lighting to people living in rural areas. In fact, it's simply not possible to provide electricity to everywhere on the planet's surface this way. On the other hand, here in North America we are used to being on an electrical [...]

By |January 23rd, 2013|Categories: Solar Energy Notes and Links|
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