Energy & Green Tech

Saving water when the sun shines

Deserts and other sun-drenched regions are the ideal location for concentrated solar power plants, but where sunlight is abundant, water tends to be scarce and dust covers everything. The EU-funded project MinWaterCSP develops ...

Energy & Green Tech

Qatar signs $470 mn solar deal

Gas-rich Qatar signed a $470-million deal on Sunday to build its first solar energy plant, capable of meeting up to one-tenth of peak national power demand.

Energy & Green Tech

Declining renewable costs drive focus on energy storage

An oft-repeated refrain—the sun doesn't always shine, and the wind doesn't always blow—is sometimes seen as an impediment to renewable energy. But it's also an impetus toward discovering the best ways to store that energy ...

Energy & Green Tech

Trump administration says it will approve largest solar farm in US

Federal officials plan to approve a massive solar farm with energy storage in the desert outside Las Vegas, paving the way for a $1-billion project that will provide electricity to Nevada residents served by billionaire Warren ...

Engineering

Engineer discovers mighty power in small solar energy invention

Today's commonly used silicon solar cells are heavy and bulky, and take up a lot of space to produce power. Newer models, made from soft materials that are flexible and versatile, are cheaper to produce but also much less ...

Energy & Green Tech

A flaky option boosts organic solar cells

An inexpensive material, made from tungsten disulfide flakes just a few atoms thick, has helped to improve the performance of organic solar cells1. The discovery by KAUST researchers could be an important step toward bringing ...

Energy & Green Tech

Suitable energy mix for smaller communities

Solar thermal, geothermal, photovoltaic—what form of energy supply is most suitable for a particular municipality? Representatives of smaller communities are overwhelmed by a huge amount of information, which tends to exacerbate ...

Engineering

New hybrid device can both capture and store solar energy

Researchers from the University of Houston have reported a new device that can both efficiently capture solar energy and store it until it is needed, offering promise for applications ranging from power generation to distillation ...

Energy & Green Tech

How do solar panels work?

How do solar panels work? – Nathan, age 5, Melbourne, Australia.

Energy & Green Tech

Farewell, oil: It's time to turn our backs on an old friend

They heat our homes, power the coffee maker and keep the factories that make our clothes running. They serve as raw material for our yogurt cups, transport us to work and bring food to the shops. Fossil fuels—oil, coal ...

Energy & Green Tech

Why modified carbon nanotubes can help the reproducibility problem

The search for sustainable energy generation technology has led researchers to investigate various materials and their combinations in many types of devices. One such synthetic material, perovskite, is low-cost and easy to ...

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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