Energy & Green Tech

When the sun switches off the solar panels

The more the sun shines in the southern German town of Aurach, the more likely it is that Jens Husemann's solar panels will be disconnected from the grid—an exasperating paradox at a time when Germany is navigating an energy ...

Energy & Green Tech

Generating power where seawater and river water meet

Scientists have known since the 1950s that it is theoretically possible to generate electricity through the movement of water in locations where seawater and river water meet. This type of technology is called osmotic power ...

Energy & Green Tech

All-in-one solar-powered tower makes carbon-neutral jet fuel

Researchers have designed a fuel production system that uses water, carbon dioxide (CO2), and sunlight to produce aviation fuel. They have implemented the system in the field, and the design, publishing July 20 in the journal ...

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Solar power

Solar power is the result of converting sunlight into electricity. Sunlight can be converted directly into electricity using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly with concentrating solar power (CSP), which normally focuses the sun's energy to boil water which is then used to provide power. The largest solar power plants, like the 354 MW SEGS, are concentrating solar thermal plants, but recently multi-megawatt photovoltaic plants have been built. Completed in 2008, the 46 MW Moura photovoltaic power station in Portugal and the 40 MW Waldpolenz Solar Park in Germany are characteristic of the trend toward larger photovoltaic power stations. Much larger ones are proposed, such as the 550 MW Topaz Solar Farm, and the 600 MW Rancho Cielo Solar Farm.

Solar power is a predictably intermittent energy source, meaning that whilst solar power is not available at all times, we can predict with a very good degree of accuracy when it will and will not be available. Some technologies, such as solar thermal concentrators with an element of thermal storage, have the potential to eliminate the intermittency of solar power, by storing spare solar power in the form of heat; and using this heat overnight or during periods that solar power is not available to produce electricity. This technology has the potential to make solar power "dispatchable", as the heat source can be used to generate electricity at will. Solar power installations are normally supplemented by storage or another energy source, for example with wind power and hydropower.

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