Solar Developments

Discussion in 'General Science' started by Wendy, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
    2,536
    Seems there have been several stories this week in Physorg.com about improvements in solar energy collection.

    This article talks about fundamental changes in how it is done.
    http://www.physorg.com/news199962208.html

    These talk about some possible improvements.
    http://www.physorg.com/news199962208.html
    http://www.physorg.com/news199470067.html
    http://www.physorg.com/news199441610.html

    And yet more possible energy sources.
    http://www.physorg.com/news200074032.html

    It would be nice if some of this stuff worked out.
     
    thatoneguy, tom66 and Voltaire like this.
  2. BryanFury

    New Member

    Jul 22, 2010
    8
    0
    This might be a breakthrough discovery. I just hope this technology is really "cheap" as what the engineers stated. This might be the start of Photovoltaic obsolecense, we don't know.
     
  3. tom66

    Senior Member

    May 9, 2009
    2,613
    214
    The good thing about solar panels is that when or if they break they don't spill sunbeams into our oceans.

    I can't see any practical way that we can continue with traditional energy sources. If it means reducing our energy consumption to meet the output of solar and wind power, we may well have to. Though, I did hear a report saying that if less than 1% of the Sahara were covered in solar panels, it could provide power for the entire planet.
     
  4. Ghar

    Active Member

    Mar 8, 2010
    655
    72
    If we ban class A tube amps we'd save 50 gigawatts per city ;)
     
    #12 likes this.
  5. tom66

    Senior Member

    May 9, 2009
    2,613
    214
    Our annual 99.998% oxygen-free copper consumption would drop if less people were so gullible as to believe they can hear the difference. Then again, what would we do with all the extra oxygen!

    How is energy going to pan out in the future? I hope not, but I think it will start becoming a really expensive commodity, and it will divide the world further: countries which have energy (oil, gas, thermal, solar, wind) and countries which do not. I am interested in this solar Sahara project. Apparently Siemens is backing it, and it will use 500kV HVDC transmission. Sounds interesting, but I'm skeptical whether 1% (of the Sahara desert) truly can provide for the whole world. And there's also the logistical challenges such as transmitting the energy such a distance, storing the energy for when it is night, and maintaining such an array.
     
  6. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    5,692
    901
    I like the concept of having massive heat engines to get usable power from an 18° to 24° C differential. What type of engine or technology would be used? How massive would it have to be to produce just a KW? Looks to me like a lot of invention is needed for that project.

    John
     
  7. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
    2,536
  8. Kermit2

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 5, 2010
    3,789
    945
  9. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
    2,536
    Come on man, you're bringing me down! :D

    Seriously though, it does seem like things keep happening to alternate energy projects. I see windmills around here and there, but nothing big scale in my part of the country.
     
  10. debe

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    946
    184
    Here in Australia there is windfarms allover the place & the Govt (taxpayer) is funding a big percentage of home roof top solar systems. The Big crunch with this stuff its realy feel good stuf for the Enviromentalists. It doesnt any where near suport the Base load, which here in Australia is already straining. Now we are threatend by higher power prices. My theory is its gone pear shaped since they were all privatised which involves gross payments to CEOs & investors & lack of upgrading the infrastructure which used to happen.
     
  11. kathreeds

    New Member

    Jun 16, 2011
    3
    0
    I believe Orienting the process of local development in this direction is not only a contribution to the reduction of polluting sources but it opens up an economic opportunity (research, innovation, investments, etc.).

     
  12. QuadTech

    New Member

    Apr 19, 2011
    6
    1
    If that is true, that's an unbelievably compelling statistic for solar power. One of the biggest issues facing solar power development and wide spread implementation is the shear size and dominance of oil companies. They aren't going anywhere without a fight.
     
  13. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
    2,908
    2,168
    That might be true.

    I sure we could spray paint the Sahara with reflective paint and solve the 'Global Warming' problem too.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jan/16/white-paint-carbon-emissions-climate

    "Nothing in life is certain except death, taxes and the second law of thermodynamics."
     
  14. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
    2,536
  15. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
    2,536
  16. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
    2,536
  17. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
    5,435
    1,305
    Conversion efficiency is nice, but the most important things (I think) are low price, long life and easy modularity, enabling easy panel swaps to replace or repair faulty ones.

    Ideally if they made the panels like plug in tiles you would not use a roof or roof tiles, you would just roof your house with panels. Even at the low end of the scale (10% eff?) most homes would have a net return to the grid helping to supply the daily business demand and making some income for the home owner.

    So forget the eff %, I want the low cost modular roof replacing solar panels. Bring on the future. :)
     
  18. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
    2,536
  19. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
    2,536
    First all-carbon solar cell

    It would be interesting if this were another forum of graphite. It uses simple coating techniques (coated from solution), so there is a chance it could be cheaper, much cheaper, even if it weren't as efficient.

    Here's hoping.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  20. MvGulik

    Member

    Nov 3, 2011
    40
    9
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
Loading...