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Solar Energy Basics Thermal and PV Joe Rand KidWind Project

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Presentation on theme: "Solar Energy Basics Thermal and PV Joe Rand KidWind Project"— Presentation transcript:

1 Solar Energy Basics Thermal and PV Joe Rand KidWind Project

2 Solar Energy – A Bright Idea! “I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait ‘til oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” - Thomas Edison

3 People have been harnessing solar energy for a long time! Solar collector for heating water A home in California in 1906



6 Sun Angles

7 Two Main Categories: Solar ThermalSolar Photovoltaic (PV) Water heating and cookingElectricity production

8 Solar Thermal Energy Cooking Water Heating

9 Solar Water Heating

10 Solar water heating is the most efficient and economical use of solar energy Residential systems start at $2500 and typically cost $3500- $4500 installed Savings of $30-$75 per month, lasting 20 years Tax credits and state rebates available

11 How Does it Work?

12 Systems can be passive or active Passive systems only found in warmer climates, as they are prone to freezing Active: Roof-top collectors heat glycol which then passes through a heat exchanger in the storage tank to heat water Electric pump can be run on solar PV




16 Solar Hot Water Classroom Experiments Design your own SHW collector Variables: – Color of collector – Tubing length, pattern, material – Light intensity – Insulation – Use of reflective materials – Rate of water pumping – Etc…

17 Solar Cooking

18 Benefits of Solar Cooking Consumes no fuels/wood – No loss of trees & habitat – Trees sequester carbon Generates no air pollution Generates no greenhouse gases Produces no smoke – Cooking smoke kills over 1.6 million people each year, mostly women & children, according to a recent report Eliminates fire dangers

19 More Benefits of Solar Cooking Eliminates work – No daily search for firewood 2 Billion people rely on wood for cooking fuel! – No risks to women and children – Frees time for other activities – No need to stir food – Helps to liberate women

20 More Benefits of Solar Cooking Cooks foods slowly and thoroughly Preserves nutrients Foods will not burn Pots are easy to clean; less clean water is needed Use for canning vegetables Use for dried fruit Kill insects in dry grains

21 Solar Cooking How Long Does it Take? Vegetables: 1.5 hrs Rice/wheat: 1.5-2 hrs Beans: 2-3 hrs Meats: 1-3 hrs Bread: 1-1.5 hrs

22 Fun Student Projects!

23 Solar Electric (Photovoltaic)

24 Photovoltaic (PV) systems convert light energy directly into electricity. Commonly known as “solar cells.” The simplest systems power the small calculators we use every day. More complicated systems will provide a large portion of the electricity in the near future. PV represents one of the most promising means of maintaining our energy intensive standard of living while not contributing to global warming and pollution. Solar Electric Systems

25 How Does it Work? Sunlight is composed of photons, or bundles of radiant energy. When photons strike a PV cell, they may be reflected or absorbed (transmitted through the cell). Only the absorbed photons generate electricity. When the photons are absorbed, the energy of the photons is transferred to electrons in the atoms of the solar cell.

26 How Does it Work? Solar cells are usually made of two thin pieces of silicon, the substance that makes up sand and the second most common substance on earth. One piece of silicon has a small amount of boron added to it, which gives it a tendency to attract electrons. It is called the p- layer because of its positive tendency. The other piece of silicon has a small amount of phosphorous added to it, giving it an excess of free electrons. This is called the n-layer because it has a tendency to give up negatively charged electrons.

27 How Does it Work?

28 Helpful PV Animations

29 Best Place For Solar Panels? South Facing roof, adequate space No shading (time of year, future tree growth) Roof structure, condition

30 Large Scale PV Power Plants Prescott Airport Location: AZ Operator: Arizona Public Service Configuration: 1,450 kWp SGS Solar Location: AZ Operator: Tucson Electric Power Co Configuration: 3,200 kWp

31 Centralized Wind-Solar Hybrid System In hybrid energy systems more than a single source of energy supplies the electricity. Wind and Solar compliment one another

32 Solar Concentrators These 20-kW Solar Systems dishes dwarf visitors in Alice Springs, Australia. The concentrators use an array of mirrors to focus sunlight onto high- efficiency solar cells. Four supports hold the cells in front of the mirrors The supports also supply cooling water and electrical connections

33 How Does the Color/Wavelength of Light Affect PV Efficiency? Test 5-8 colors using different backgrounds on PowerPoint Slides – Purple – Blue – Green – Yellow – Orange – Red – White

34 Approximate Wavelength: 390-455 nanometers

35 Approximate Wavelength: 455-492 nanometers

36 Approximate Wavelength: 492-577 nanometers

37 Approximate Wavelength: 577-597 nanometers

38 Approximate Wavelength: 597-622 nanometers

39 Approximate Wavelength: 622-780 nanometers


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