Energy & Green Tech

Why we should use electric rather than hydrogen cars

Last night's Federal Budget did not have any promising signals for encouraging uptake of electric vehicles, or to increase spending on installing the essential infrastructure needed to allay fears that motorists won't be ...

Energy & Green Tech

Chill out: Advanced solar tech runs cooler and lasts longer

Australian photovoltaics researchers have made a 'cool' discovery: Singlet fission and tandem solar cells—two innovative ways to generate solar power more efficiently—also help to lower operating temperatures and keep ...

Engineering

Solar-powered desalination unit shows great promise

Despite the vast amount of water on Earth, most of it is nonpotable seawater. Freshwater accounts for only about 2.5% of the total, so much of the world experiences serious water shortages.

Solar energy

Solar energy is the radiant light and heat from the Sun that has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation along with secondary solar resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass account for most of the available renewable energy on Earth. Only a minuscule fraction of the available solar energy is used.

Solar power provides electrical generation by means of heat engines or photovoltaics. Once converted, its uses are limited only by human ingenuity. A partial list of solar applications includes space heating and cooling through solar architecture, potable water via distillation and disinfection, daylighting, hot water, thermal energy for cooking, and high temperature process heat for industrial purposes.

Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute sunlight. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors (with electrical or mechanical equipment) to convert sunlight into useful outputs. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA