Michael Breslin & Kevin Boothby Wiki Project

34e76_solar_power_3166595271_54e5f3b470.jpgFossil fuels are used in power plants.All fossil fuels are made of hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons store energy in the form of the atomic bonds. Energy stored in hydrocarbons can be released very easy - we just have to burn them. When fossil fuels are burned carbon and hydrogen react with oxygen in air to carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). During this reaction heat is released which further amplifies the reaction.
The lack of organisms dying the fossil fuels are not being created. Another reason for fossil fuels diminishing is the amount of time it takes for them to prodce. These fossil fuels were completely untapped until the past few hundred years. This resource was just sitting down there producing. Scientists believe that in the next century, the fuels we reliy on will be completely gone. Chemists must look into a way we can prevent CO2 emmissions.

Solar energy is a good way to harness energy from non renewable sources without pollution, noise, or radiation.

Solar power

The heat of the sun is about the same as billions of trillions pounds of coal an hour. Considering a small amount of that heat reaches the earth, it is still enough to power the world. People around 30,000 BC began to realize how important the sun was, because people started growing crops. The first thing they noticed was that plants did better when planted in the sun as opposed to the shade.These people began to consider the sun a God. Civilizations started to build structures and religious temples so they can worship the sun, such as Stonehenge in England.

Types of Solar Panels
There are flat plate collectors, focusing collectors, and solar cells.

Flat Plate collector-- This type is on top of a roof of a house or building, and is used to heat either the house or the house's water. It is made of a black rectangular frame, a couple of sheets of glass, and copper plumbing. It uses the greenhouse affect. The rays of sun can enter the plate but cannot work its way out. The rays heat copper tubing inside of the frame which are filled with water, and the hot water heats the house.
focusing collector-- a mirror or a series of mirrors are focused in on one spot. The first type is a solar furnace. A solar furnace takes mirrors and aim them all at one curved mirror. This curved mirror is aimed at a large building and they use this to test how well certain materials react under extreme temperatures. Another kind of focusing collector is a parabolic trough and dish. The dish takes heat and light and aims it at oil. The oil is used to make steam which drives a turbine. Lastly is a power tower. A power tower works just like a parabolic trough and dish. It has a series of mirrors aimed at a tower, which gets extremely hot. The tower, filled with oil, gets heated and is used to drive a steam turbine.
Solar cell-- It is two layers made of silicon that makes an electric charge which is transferred into wires. Solar cells heat things like a house, a town, or even cities.

A look back in time...

Back in 1000 BC, Kings in castles had the sun heat up their water in the castle using solar power. Romans made walls and floors out of materials that absorbed heat, and in turn the materials gave off heat to heat the homes. In the sixteenth century, scientists begain playing with the power of solar power.
1714- first solar furnace
1720- first modern solar water heater.
1774- printing press powered by the sun
1880- solar desalinization system and first solar cells were made


Every day items use solar cells to be energized. For example, solar cells are placed on calculators so they won't die. If you take your finger and place it of the solar cells, it eventually fades away. Solar cells are also used to charge radios and even light posts. Satellites run on solar power. There are power plants completely charged with solar panels and someday a solar powered charged car will come out too.

Concentrating Solar Power

Concentrating solar power is the use of mirrors to concentrate a large amount of sunlight into one area. The area with the concentrated sunlight is heated and eventually transformed into mechanical energy.

Types Of Concentrated Solar Panels:

- Parabolic Trough
- Fresnel Reflectors
- Dish Sterling
- Solar Power Tower



6. determine the amount of CO2 it produces or inhibits.

  • It is clean energy. Even when the emissions related to solar cell manufacturing are counted, photovoltaic generation produces less than 15 percent of the carbon dioxide from a conventional coal-fired power plant. Using solar energy to replace the use of traditional fossil fuel energy sources can prevent the release of pollutants into the atmosphere.
  • Using solar energy to supply a million homes with energy would reduce CO2 emissions by 4.3 million tons per year, the equivalent of removing 850,000 cars from the road.
  • Solar energy uses fewer natural resources than conventional energy sources. Using energy from sunlight can replace the use of stored energy in natural resources such as petroleum, natural gas, and coal. Energy industry researchers estimate that the amount of land required for photovoltaic (PV) cells to produce enough electricity to meet all U.S. power needs is less than 60,000 square kilometers, or roughly 20 percent of the area of Arizona.
  • Solar energy is a renewable resource. Some scientists and industry experts estimate that renewable energy sources, such as solar, can supply up to half of the world's energy demand in the next 50 years, even as energy needs continue to grow.

SOURCE: http://www.montanagreenpower.com/solar/

7. determine the amount of water it can generate or purify

--- Small scale solar desalination systems can purify up to 100 gallons a day. Larger scale ones can clean up to 1000 gallons a day. Now, towns and cities are trying to make their own systems to provide clean water from sources like lakes and streams.

8. best aspects of solar power
Since the sun's heat and light is free, you do not have to pay. It is a good renewable source that can be uitilized in different ways. In the future, one can expect that solar energy will be put to better use with newcoming discoveries.

9. describe how the critics would discuss it
Critics would say that the sun shines for free each day. It creates a lot of energy, more than we could ever need. Another benefit is that it creates zero CO2 admissions.

10. If it already makes up a lot of the world's fuel/energy supply explain why.
-its free, consistent, no pollution, quiet, clean, easy installed, and can be done in different shapes and sizes.

11. If it doesn't make up much of the world's fuel/energy supply explain why.
12. Try to include a lot of pictures.


13. YOU MUST include quotes from scientists or policy makers.

14. Explain how it could help solve some of the problems or contributes to those problems.

-- Solar panels could solve huge problems around the world and possibly save lives. Using solar panels to create electricity in natural disasters is one way. They could also be used to create electricity in 3rd world countries who normally don't have any electricity at all.

15. Explain what it would take to do your thing better or in a larger scale.

-- It would not take a lot to expand solar panels on a bigger scale, just the willingness of the energy consumers to make the change. Solar energy is already spreading across America at a fast rate, and there are easy do it yourself projects that can significantly lower your energy bills. Many people are buying and building solar power generators that are very useful. These solar power generators create free energy and pretty portable too. These generators would be very useful in emergency situations if the power was down. It is the growth of small green projects like this that would eliminate use of fossil fuels over time.



16. Explain who uses that technology and why. If it isn't used very much explain that instead.

-- Millions of people use solar panels around the world for residential, commercial, and industrial uses.

17. After learning about it what would you do next to change how its used? why?

-- After learning about solar power i would try to spread the use of solar panels, and also improver the amount of energy solar panels can generate.