Solar Energy By: Mary Erikson
What is solar energy? • Renewable energy source radiated from the sun, harnessed and transferred into useable energy.
Types of Solar Energy • Passive Solar • Concentrating Solar Power • Photovoltaic (PV) • Hot Water Solar • Solar Process (commercial)
Passive Solar • When the design of the building is centralized around taking full advantage of of all types of solar energy given off in the daylight.
Passive Solar • Windows are mostly facing the south side- this is because it receives the most sunlight during the day
Passive Solar • Can save up to 30% on heating and cooling bills on average • 5% for energy cost for lighting • Would have to spend roughly 15% more per sqft with passive solar energy construction • Long term pay off
Henry P. Glass Home • Northshore(Chicago) 1948
Concentrating Solar • Industrial • Uses thousands of U-shaped mirrors to concentrate sun’s rays to a 550 foot receiver where it harnesses that heat to heat a fluid that then heats the water and turns into steam to turn the turbine • http://www1.eere.energy.gov/multimedia/video_csp.html
Photovoltaic • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8_NdUb8sjc • Primary domestic electricity use for heating and cooling • Technology used for solar energy cars however not realistic
Solar Water Heating • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DI8vj2ibh9I • Expensive compared to natural gas
Solar Process Heat • Heating and cooling for large commercial and industrial buildings • Can use same technologies in addition to these (PV, passive solar) • 3 Main Uses- • Space heat • Water Systems • Solar Cooling(TACS)
Pro’s and Con’s? Pro’s Con’s Expensive to install Unrealistic to be able to meet the needs of the world’s energy consumption Can’t transfer energy efficiently (must be used on spot) Low efficiency rate (15-25%) Needs a lot of solar panels to create sufficient energy (takes up lots of land) Needs sunlight (can’t produce energy during night time) • Renewable • Ability to harness energy in regions that are not linked to a national grid • No direct pollution (only from manufacturing of product) • Can be very effective in certain spots on the globe (near equator) • Eventually will pay for itself after a number of years • Little maintenance after it is installed
What’s wrong? • Due to the low efficiency rate and the energy consumed by the cables when transferring it, it is unrealistic to be able to transfer solar energy anywhere further than 2 miles from the source. • To meet current US electricity needs with the current technology we would need to use a piece of land as big as New Hampshire and Rhode Island combined. This would also have to be in a desert like location where there is a plethora of sun. • Prices are still uncompetitive with those of fossil fuels
Progress? • All sectors of Solar Energy experienced grown from 2011 to 2012 with instillations up 76% in one year • In past 3 years cost of solar energy has dropped over 70% • On Oct 22, 2013 a $60 million support innovative solar energy research and development in part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. This is efforts to drive down solar energy costs even further
What to do… • Solar power’s main use should be domestic, not transportation or industrial use. • By year 2020 have 10% of US domestic electricity demand be solar energy. • 5% total energy demand to come from solar by year 2050 • Increase the efficiency of the solar panels to 30-40% production as well as finding a better way to transfer the energy opposed to energy-dissipating cables and improve the battery technology
Sources • http://www.nrel.gov/learning/re_solar_process.html • http://www.nrel.gov/learning/re_solar.html • http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/energy-overview/solar/ • http://energy.gov/articles/energy-department-announces-60-million-drive-affordable-efficient-solar-power • http://energy.gov/articles/top-6-things-you-didnt-know-about-solar-energy