Solar Power || A technology that we need
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Why is Solar Power a Good Idea?
It saves the environment, reduces our need to go to war under false pretences(Downing street memos) and, well, it just makes you feel good knowing that you're part of the solution instead of being part of the problem.
Why are solar concentrators better?
The basic economics of solar concentration are simple: replacing costly semiconductor solar cell area with lower cost plastic lenses leads to lower overall system cost. For a concentrator module, the solar cell area is a small fraction of the total module area.
Solar concentrator conversion efficiency (sunlight to electricity per unit area) is significantly higher than flat-plate solar technologies. Because the solar cell is a lower percentage of the overall concentrator system cost, using very high efficiency solar cells makes good economic sense. SunPower’s solar cells are about twice as efficient as conventional flat-plate silicon solar cells. Higher efficiency means more power can be generated with the same amount of land or rooftop space.
So what will it be, solar power or nukes?
More kilowatt-hours per day
Total energy delivered, not peak power, is what really counts in electricity generation. Flat-plate solar systems are typically rated by peak watt but, when mounted with fixed orientation (no solar tracking), they only produce this amount of power once during the day, at solar noon, as shown below.
Because of solar tracking, the concentrator produces dramatically more power than the flat-plate in early morning and late afternoon hours. Due to its high efficiency, the concentrator system produces more power than flat-plate system even at solar noon. The combined benefits of solar tracking and high-efficiency allow the concentrator system to produce much more energy per day than the flat-plate system (the area under the curves in the figure). A concentrator will produce more kWh per day (energy) for the same module watt (power) rating.
Better load matching
Solar tracking also provides much more level power production throughout the day than a fixed orientation flat-plate system, as seen in the previous figure. This not only leads to higher daily energy production, but also has significant load matching advantages. For example, in sunny climates peak electric load due to air-conditioning occurs late in the afternoon rather than at solar noon.
Easier to build
If renewable solar electricity is to make a significant contribution to the world’s electricity generation needs in the 21st century, an absolutely monumental scale-up of manufacturing capacity will be required. For example, if solar power is to supply 10% of the forecasted world demand for new electric generation capacity, we will have to produce nearly 80 square miles of solar modules per year1 . Because of concentration, solar concentrators will require about 300 times less solar cell area than competing flat-plate solar technologies. Fabricating large areas of plastic lenses will be substantially easier than fabricating large areas of semiconductor materials (solar cells). Another important consideration is that SunPower’s concentrator solar cells are made with silicon, which is both non-toxic and one of the most abundant elements on earth.
How does solar electricity compare to other renewables?
Compared to competing renewable energy sources such as wind or geothermal, solar electricity has much broader resource availability. Solar electricity requires much less land and water than biofuels. Solar electric systems are inherently more efficient and reliable than solar thermal systems. Nuclear power is now being reconsidered because it does not emit greenhouse gases. Nuclear, however, is unlikely to gain broad public acceptance and it has serious waste disposal issues. Of the non-nuclear renewables, solar concentrator solar electricity is the technology most likely to meet the challenge of providing large-scale renewable power production.
The Components That Make Up A Residential Solar System
The four basic components of a residential solar system are rooftop solar modules, an inverter, an in-home solar power monitor, and an electric meter.
Sharp solar modules collect the sun's energy and convert it into electricity. Based on your electricity requirements, the appropriate numbers of modules are connected to form a rooftop array.
The inverter converts the electricity from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) for use in the home.
The Monitor and Electric Meter:
The monitor allows you to view the status of your system and its performance, while the standard electric meter displays net power usage.
Solar power can provide electricity for many applications.
In very remote locations it may be the only practical solution since reliable power can be provided virtually anywhere. In addition, more and more residential and commercial customers are realizing the benefits of utilizing solar power for electricity to offset their utility-supplied energy consumption, to provide back up power or to operate independent of the utility grid. Solar power can be a solution.
We are a trusted and respected supplier of reliable solar power as well as back up power systems throughout the United States and in many other countries. We are known for using the highest quality solar panels and related components when integrating solar power into your project, and we provide a high level of responsive, expert technical support to our customers.
We carry all necessary components to integrate solar power into your project including solar panels, mounting structures, solar controllers, inverters, batteries, enclosures, wiring and fittings. So whether you need a few watts a day or a mega-watt we can provide the complete power system package. We also offer custom engineering for specialty structures and enclosures, and we can even skid-mount and ship your power unit fully operational. Utilizing solar power has never been easier, and doing business has never been more reliable when you build your power system with us. We provide complete technical assistance and the finest equipment when utilizing solar power to insure a successful project. We have everything you need.
Other quality devices using solar power. Besides providing much larger integrated systems we also offer a small selection of hand picked quality devices that utilize solar power such as a portable AC/DC unit, a hand or solar powered water pump and a solar powered vent fan. These are great devices for a variety of uses, and they are all listed on our equipment page.
A solar electric system was designed for a beautiful 3,500 square foot house overlooking the San Francisco Bay. This system included forty-eight 120 watt solar modules installed on the south roof (at the existing roof pitch) and north roof (at a reverse pitch facing south). A total of 5,760 watts of peak power generating capability is provided (based on manufacturer output ratings). This system provides about 23 kwh of energy per day or about 8,200 kwh per year -- after taking into account various real-world efficiency losses.
Total costs for a competitors system were $54,910, including all equipment and installation. We applied for and received a $21,553 rebate from the California Energy Commission, and the homeowner will receive an additional $5,004 tax credit from the state. Net costs to the homeowner were therefore $28,354.
We have a petent pending mechanism to cut the costs of the system in half. Solar panels are expensive. We use mirrors to concentrate alot of sunlight onto a small solar panel. It works create, there are no moving parts to break, and you still get the same tax credit.
Total costs for our system (that generates an equivalent amount of power) is only $32,810 including all equipment and installation. We applied for and received a $21,553 rebate from the California Energy Commission, and the homeowner will receive an additional $5,004 tax credit from the state. Net costs to the homeowner using our system will be $6,253. And the system will save you $1,800 a year in electricity costs and add $30,000 re-sale value to the price of your home!