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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
Daylighting
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
(CSP)
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


Photovoltaics
PV Cell
PV Array Components

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

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
places
Disadvantages of Solar Energy

 Less efficient and costly


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

Indicates
voltage from
alternating
DC Voltage
current. Do
Scale
not use.

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

Series Parallel
For More Information

The NEED Project


www.need.org
info@need.org
1-800-875-5029

Energy Information Administration


U.S. Department of Energy
www.eia.gov
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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
Achievement.

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.