The technique simultaneously uses the light and heat of the sun to generate electricity. And, unlike photovoltaic technology currently used in solar panels—which becomes less efficient as the temperature rises—the new process excels at higher temperatures. Melosh is senior author of a paper describing the tests the researchers conducted. It was published online this month in Nature Materials.
No other natural resource is as plentiful as sunlight, with 5, times more energy from the sun reaching planet Earth than all of human energy consumption. Using commercially available solar panels, an area the size of Texas can theoretically provide enough electricity to meet worldwide demand.
So why is only about 1. Solving this engineering grand challenge has been identified by the National Academy of Engineering NAE as one of the 14 most important technical goals of today.
The mission is to make clean, renewable solar power Make solar energy economical primary source of energy.
Achieving that goal requires innovations in two key areas: Reducing the Cost Per Kilowatt The first goal is to drive down the cost per kilowatt for solar power until it is significantly lower than the cost of conventional sources such as coal and natural gas.
Reaching this critical cost crossover CCC point should be the primary goal of the renewable energy industry. At this point of price parity, demand will surge and market forces will tip in favor of renewables.
The price of photovoltaic PV solar panels has been falling at exponential rates for decades. The other parts of the system, such as the solar inverters, are now the dominant factor in the price per watt.
Because of this, the balance of system costs is now the limiting factor. They can be two to three times more expensive than the panels themselves. The price for solar modules is highly correlated with production volume. Over the lifetime of the system, the maintenance, repair, and downtime costs are paramount.
The levelized cost of electricity LCOE is a calculation that factors in all of these lifetime costs. Fortunately, high-quality solar modules are extremely durable and often last for 20 years or more with only a 20 percent reduction in production.
However, the reliability of the power inverters that put the electricity on the power grid is a challenge for the solar industry. Extending the inverter lifetime to 20 years could reduce the real cost of the system by 40 percent. To facilitate the lifetime extension of power inverters, National Instruments uses a comprehensive graphical system design approach that makes it possible for designers to evaluate the difficult design trade-offs impacting both cost and lifetime.
Updating the Electrical Grid Electrification is considered by the NAE to be the single most important engineering achievement of the 20th century. These large centralized generators are located far away from the demand and are relatively slow to respond.
Solar energy production, on the other hand, is distributed throughout the grid, and the production fluctuates based on cloud cover and weather conditions. NI customers such as Siliken use a graphical system design approach to achieve milestones in both reducing the cost per kilowatt and updating the electrical grid.
Fortunately, digital sensing and control technologies for the grid are rapidly decreasing in cost and increasing in performance.
These smart monitoring and control systems will help solar and wind become primary sources of electricity while increasing the quality, stability, and resilience of the grid. A key element of this puzzle is the development of energy storage technologies that are cost-effective and able to scale to terawatt levels.
Working across multiple vectors, NI customers such as Elcom, Prolucid, and Siliken are using a graphical system design approach to achieve milestones in both reducing the cost per kilowatt and updating the electrical grid to achieve true efficiency and availability of solar energy.
As the global population and energy consumption expand, it becomes increasingly important to accelerate the innovation behind making solar energy economical to achieve independence from nonrenewable sources and reach a solution to this grand challenge.Make solar energy economical Essay sun’s contribution to human energy needs is substantial — worldwide, solar electricity generation is a growing, multibillion dollar industry.
But solar’s share of the total energy market remains rather small, well below 1 percent of. STANFORD (US)—A new conversion process could make solar power production twice as efficient as existing methods—and potentially cheap enough to compete with oil.
The technique simultaneously. Make solar energy economical News. Blades of Grass Inspire Advance in Organic Solar Cells.
Fri, March 20, Using a bio-mimicking analog of one of nature’s most efficient light-harvesting structures, blades of grass, an international research team has taken a major step in developing long-sought polymer architecture to boost power.
Apr 22, · The Economic Problem With Solar Power; And The Solution. Net metering forms the linchpin of the solar-energy business model.
Without it, firms say, solar power would be prohibitively expensive. Nov 12, · Maximizing the efficiency of converting sunlight to electricity was the primary goal for much of the history of solar power industry.
Because solar cells were so expensive to make, they were used only in special applications, such as on spacecraft, where performance was . Solar energy is so called renewable source of energy which means it has very vital and promising role on our whole civilization.
Nowadays humans have to be very efficient and capable to use all these sources of renewable energy to harness our economical and social growth.