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Exploring Solar Energy

Radiant Energy

Nuclear Fusion
Major Uses of Solar Energy

 Daylight
 Drying Agricultural Products
 Space Heating
 Water Heating
 Generating Electrical Power
 Concentrating Solar Power (CSP)
 Photovoltaics
Drying Agricultural Products
Space Heating Through Passive Solar
Active Solar Heating
Solar Collector

 Glass on outside
 Absorbent on inside
 Circulating Fluid
Generating Electrical Power

 Concentrating  Photovoltaics
Solar Power (CSP) • Small-scale
• Trough systems (buildings) kW
• Power towers production
• Large-scale
 Heat exchanger
(utilities) MW
plus steam turbine production
 Photoelectric effect
Concentrating Solar Power
Ivanpah, Mojave Desert

 The United States houses the largest CSP plant in

the Mojave Desert.
 Ivanpah is operated by NRG. It uses 347,000
garage door-sized mirrors and 173,500 heliostats.

Image courtesy of NRG Energy

PV Cell
PV Array Components

 PV Cells
 Modules
 Arrays
PV System Components
Remote PV Power
Top Countries for Installed PV

US Department of Energy,
NREL 2013 Renewable
Energy Data Book
The NEED Proje
Global Regional PV Installations per Inhabitant

Source: European Photovoltaic Industry

The NEED Proje
Advantages of Solar Energy

• Clean
• Sustainable
• Free
• Provide electricity to remote
Disadvantages of Solar Energy

 Less efficient and costly

 Part Time
 Reliability Depends On
 Environmental Impact of PV
Cell Production
Using a Digital Multimeter

voltage from
DC Voltage
current. Do
not use.

DC Current
Resistance Scale
Scale. Do
not use.
Wiring the PV Modules

Series Parallel
For More Information

The NEED Project


Energy Information Administration

U.S. Department of Energy

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All NEED schools have outstanding classroom-based programs in which students learn
about energy. Does your school have student leaders who extend these activities into
their communities? To recognize outstanding achievement and reward student
leadership, The NEED Project conducts the National Youth Awards Program for Energy

What’s involved?
Students and teachers set goals and objectives, and keep a record of their activities.
Students create a digital project to submit for judging. In April, digital projects should
be uploaded to the online submission site.

Want more info? Check out www.NEED.org/Youth-Awards for more application and
program information, previous winners, and photos of past events.