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How is Solar Energy Produced and Used?


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How is Solar Energy Produced and Used?

  1. 1. ==== ====Hello. Please click on the link for more information on solar energy products for your home. ====The technology to derive substantial electrical current using light from the sun has been aroundsince the mid 1950s when the first solar cell was created by Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller, andGerald Pearson at Bell Labs - they developed the first solar cell capable of generating enoughpower from the sun to run everyday electrical equipment. A silicon solar cell was produced thatwas 6% efficient. They were later able to increase efficiency to eleven percent.Anyone who is aware of the ability to harness sunlight into electrical energy just has to recall fromJr. High School Science Class that Electricity produced by a solar cell is only good if the sun isshining directly onto the a photovoltaic solar cell.With basic knowledge that solar cells product Direct (un-fluctuating) current, it stands to reasonthat there are two, very costly obstacles that stand in the way of practical solar power: 1) how toconvert the current from direct current (DC) to Alternating Current (AC) so that it can be used inthe common household and 2) how to practically store the energy for use when needed after thesun had set or gone behind the clouds.By the time solar technology had developed and become less expensive to produce, our nationsinfrastructure had already established and built around the standard of AC at 110 volts and 15amperes. A big expense to the use of solar cells is the requirement for use expensive powerinverters to convert it from DC to AC.With help from Exxon Corporation in 1970, a significantly less costly solar cell was designed by Dr.Elliot Berman. His design decreased the price of solar generated power from $100 per watt to $20per watt. Although, still costly, this was a giant leap into the feasibility of the use of practical solarpowerIn 1976, the NASA Lewis Research Center began to install the first of many photovoltaic systemson every continent in the world with the exception of Australia. Those systems provided power forvaccine refrigeration, room lighting, medical clinic lighting, telecommunications, water pumping,grain milling, and classroom television. The project took place from 1976 to 1985, and then againfrom 1992 to its completion in 1995. By time the project was completed, 83 stand-alone systemswere in place. These areas where systems were installed were obviously devoid of practical on-grid systems.In July of the same year, the U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration which wasthe predecessor to the U.S. Department of Energy launched the Solar Energy Research Institute.And in 1977, total photovoltaic manufacturing production exceeded 500 kw (kilowatts). This wasonly enough power to light 5,000, 100-watt light bulbs.
  2. 2. In 1982, the first megawatt-scale PV (photovoltaic) power station went on line in Hisperia,California. The systems capacity was 1-megawatts and was developed by ARCO Solar. The U.S.Department of Energy and an industry consortium began operating Solar One, a 10-megawattcentral-receiver demonstration project in California which established the feasibility of power-towersystems. During this same time, an Australian named Hans Tholstrup drove the first solar-powered car - the Quiet Achiever - almost 2,800 miles between Sydney and Perth in 20 days. Thiswas 10 days faster than the first gasoline powered car. Tholstrup is now the founder of a world-class solar car race, Australias World Solar Challenge.Two other significant from 1982 which shaped the history of solar energy; Volkswagen of Germanybegan testing photovoltaic arrays mounted on the roofs of Dasher station wagons which generated160 watts of electricity for use in the ignition system; and the Florida Solar Energy CentersSoutheast Residential Experiment Station began supporting the U.S. Department of Energysphotovoltaics program in the application of systems engineering. Worldwide, photovoltaicproduction then exceeded 9.3 megawatts.In 1986 the worlds largest solar thermal facility was commissioned in Kramer Junction, California.The solar field contains rows of mirrors that concentrate the suns energy onto a system of pipescirculating a heat transfer fluid. The heat transfer fluid, used to produce steam, powers aconventional turbine to generate electricity. WhileResearchers at the University of South Florida developed a 15.9% efficient thin-film photovoltaiccell made of cadmium telluride, breaking the 15% barrier for this technology, a 7.5-kilowattprototype dish system that includes an advanced stretched-membrane concentrator beganoperating in Florida.The first solar station to distribute electricity produced from solar collectors was Pacific Gas &Electric (PG&E) in 1993, in Kerman, California. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory(formerly the Solar Energy Research Institute) completed construction of its Solar EnergyResearch Facility and became recognized as the most energy-efficient of all U.S. governmentbuildings in the world.In 1994 the first solar dish generator to use a free-piston Stirling Engine is hooked up to a utilitygrid and The National Renewable Energy Laboratory developed a solar cell made of galliumindium phosphide and gallium arsenide. This cell development was the first to achieve aconversion efficiency of above thirty percent.Two years later, although not in the United States but worth mentioning, a solar-powered airplane,the Icare, flew over Germany. The wings and wings and tail surfaces were covered by 3,000extremely efficient solar cells. Total surface area was 21 square meters.The U.S. Department of Energy and an industry consortium begin operating Solar Two - anupgrade to Solar Ones concentrating solar power tower. Until the projects end in 1999, Solar Twodemonstrated how solar energy can be stored efficiently using molten salt economically so thatpower can be produced even when the sun isnt shining; it also spurs commercial interest inMolten Salt Power Tower Technology[]
  3. 3. On August 6, 1998, a solar-powered, remote-controlled aircraft, "Pathfinder," set a record altitudeof 80,000 feet after its 38th consecutive flight in Monrovia, California. This is higher than anyprop-job to date.The tallest Skyscraper in the city that was built in the 90s -- 4 Times Square in New York -- hasmore energy-efficient features than any other commercial skyscraper. The building includesintegrated photovoltaic (BIPV) panels on the 37th through the 43rd floors on the south and west-facing facades to produce a portion of the buildings power.The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Spectrolab, Inc. developed a 32.3%efficient solar cell. This highly efficient cell resulted from the combination of three layers ofphotovoltaic material into a single cell. This cell was most efficient and practical when used indevices with lenses or mirrors which concentrate the sunlight. These concentrator systems[] are mounted ontrackers which always keep them pointed toward the sun. The NREL also produced a recordbreaking achievement in the niche of thin-film cells. It increased efficiency more than 1% to 18.8%.Today, with the price of petroleum topping $126/bbl, more and more people are looking toalternative energy sources to fill their energy needs. From using cooking oil as fuel in diesel cars,to using wind and sun energy at the residential level, people everywhere realize they can nolonger depend on the Middle East, or even their own governments to properly regulate energy.Individuals will need to be proactive in their efforts to supply themselves with energy. Who knows,it may be possible one day we invent automobiles with remove and replace batteries, similar towarehouse forklifts. Spare batteries to be charged via solar panel during the day to replace thespent battery at night. Just in time for the next days commute to work.Gene Duckett became interested in Solar Powered gadgets with his first credit card sized, solar-powered calculator purchased from Radio Shack in 1979. Now that he is all grown up and knowswhat he wants to do with his life, he is combining his interest in Solar Power with the opportunity inthe United States to develop energy sources that are independent of foreign sources. That is whyhe founded [] His intent is to distribute information about solar powerand practical applications to as many homeowners and business owners as possible. He believesthat not only should we, as a country, eliminate need for foreign oil but, we should also reduce oreliminate dependency on grid power. When individuals relinquish self sufficiency for daily needson a wholesale level, then they put themselves in a vulnerable position. Never in recorded historyhas man been so dependent on his government(s) and to a certain extent big business) foreveryday necessities. There is a GOOD reason why the forefathers of the United States intendedto LIMIT powers of the government. Those reasons are still valid today. Join in the progressivemovement to end dependency on foreign oil and government control of everyday necessities. visit[] and get on the mailing list for weekly updates on the State of SolarTechnology newsletter. There will soon be available valuable resources for converting your homefrom grid powered, to solar power. There will also be links to suppliers, educational videos, andtechnological developments. Its free and at the same time will be somewhat entertaining. Pleasebe patient while the website, affiliate links, and company store are being developed. The demandfor solar products is going to skyrocket, so these things will be available as quickly as possible.
  4. 4. Thank You.Article Source: ====Hello. Please click on the link for more information on solar energy products for your home. ====