Tagged Questions

Energy sources that do not rely on the consumption of an exhaustible fuel. Tidal, geothermal, and the direct and indirect solar energies (direct: photovoltaics, CSP, solar thermal; indirect: wind, wave, biomass) are renewable energy.

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1answer
55 views

Do wind turbines convert the kinetic energy of air?

It is often said that wind turbines convert the kinetic energy of the wind into electricity. But in respect to horizontal wind turbines with airfoil shaped blades this is imho not the case. Wind ...
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0answers
94 views

Is there a scientific/physics mistake in my idea?

I recently participated in the Google Science Fair and created a model/theoretical device that was capable of harvesting suns energy so much that it'd nearly increase energy produced by 3 times. But ...
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0answers
19 views

Neutral wire capacity [closed]

I have three DC circuits in my solar array. I have a three lead + ground (bare copper) tec armoured cable (#6). Why not run one circuit using the bare ground as negative? In fact, why not run three ...
2
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1answer
32 views

How absorption coefficient determines which material is used to make solar cells?

Does the knowledge of the material absorption coefficients aids engineers in determining which material to use in their solar cell designs? If yes, how?
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1answer
36 views

Why does solar cell will create as a Multiple cells instead of one large cell area?

Why is a solar module assembled from multiple cells instead of one large cell area?
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1answer
160 views

Why is there no upper-bound on power-efficiency of Hydro-turbines?

We have Betz's law, an upper bound on power efficiency, for wind-turbines. But there is no theoretical upper limit on hydro-turbines, Why this is so? Is it mainly due to the incompressibility of ...
2
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2answers
62 views

Why are large batteries described by their power?

Reading about renewable energy sources, I came across the idea to use huge batteries as a temporary storage to be able to deal with the fluctuations that e.g. solar panels might produce. The most ...
4
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3answers
77 views

How does temperature affect photovoltaics (PV) efficiency?

I know that photovoltaic panels are more efficient at lower temperatures: As the temperature increases, the output voltage decreases. I am looking for an explanation of the mechanism behind this ...
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1answer
51 views

Photovoltaic IV data

I am looking for any available measured solar-cell datasets (Voltage/Current) especially for organic photovoltaic cells for the testing of a software unfortunately I am unable to get the measured ...
2
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1answer
76 views

How do wind turbines cause lightning?

I saw this paper about Lightning discharges produced by wind turbines More lightning strikes wind turbines than comparable non-moving structures. What would be the physical cause of this? Does it ...
2
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1answer
129 views

Could geothermal energy extraction in Yellowstone significantly diminish the threat of a supervolcano?

I recently read an article about a team in Iceland that had managed to drill directly into magma coming up from the earth's mantle, and then use the resulting bore-hole to generate steam to power ...
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4answers
90 views

Coherence effect on collecting sun light by mirrors

There are systems that collect sun light in one spot. I wonder, why does it accumulate additively, without destructive interference?
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0answers
80 views

“Single-shot” Heat engine efficiency limits

The sun is 5778K and Earth is ~290K. Using the sun as the hot reservoir and earth as a cold reservoir we get 95% Carnot efficiency. However, the solar power efficiency limit is only 86%, see: ...
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1answer
158 views

Can capillary forces be used to make hydro electricity?

Could a device with very thin columns of glass or something that attracts water more be used to pull water up and then release it to drive generator and perhaps add vacuum. I have been wondering ...
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4answers
667 views

Why does a window layer is on top of the absorber layer in solar cells and not below it?

In solar cells there is a p-n junction. P-type semiconductor (for example CdTe) is often absorber layer because of its carrier lifetime and mobilities. In case of CdS/CdTe, CdS is n-type window layer ...
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4answers
6k views

Are Fresnel lenses widely used for solar electricity? If not, why not?

I was just wondering why Fresnel Lenses are not widely used in the production of solar electricity. Their use there would mean that you could produce heat within a fraction of a second, up to a few ...
1
vote
1answer
208 views

Do bifacial solar panels operate at lower temperature than normal solar panels?

Bifacial solar panels have a glass backplane instead of the usual aluminum and are designed to absorb and convert to electricity light incident on either face. Many manufacturers claim that their ...
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1answer
206 views

Can magnetic energy be used to create a magnetic motor which can power vehicles and machines? [closed]

Can magnetic energy be used to create a magnetic motor which can power vehicles and machines?
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2answers
103 views

Would it be possible to build a Solar Panel Etalon?

Since, on average, 1/3 of all sunlight that hits a solar panel is reflected, wouldn't it be possible to set up some kind of etalon system where the reflected light is then absorbed by another solar ...
2
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0answers
50 views

Is it possible to generate usable electricity from the motion or magnetic field of the Earth? [duplicate]

Let me start by saying that my knowledge of physics is almost nil (only high school level and I pretty much forgot everything) so bear with me, if I am asking naive questions the answers of which may ...
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5answers
4k views

Is it possible to generate electricity using a water tower?

Is it possible to build a water tower that will provide enough pressure to run an electricity generator? A water pump can be used to send water up to the tower. The water pump can be powered by solar ...
3
votes
1answer
149 views

What is the largest diameter an optical fiber can have? - for nonimaging visible light transmission

Is there any theoretical limitation on the size of the diameter of an Plastic optical fiber? I would like to transmit visible sunlight through it. I see bundles of small cores available but wouldn't ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

Given mean insolation, can one place an upper bound on the daily peak insolation?

Photovoltaic panels are rated under standard conditions: eg a $100\mathrm{W}$ panel if irradiated with $1000\mathrm{W}/\mathrm{m}^2$ at $25^\circ\mathrm{C}$. When the cost effectiveness of ...
3
votes
2answers
749 views

In solar cells, do photons break apart electron-hole pairs, or create them?

Some sources say that when a photon hits the PV cell, it breaks apart electron-hole pairs. Other sources say that photons create electron-hole pairs. Can anyone explain which one is right? I've read ...
0
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1answer
153 views

If human energy use were to increase by 2.3% per year, would we use all solar energy by 1400 years?

Assuming 2.3% per year exponential growth of human energy consumption (so, roughly speaking, that corresponds to multiplying consumption tenfold every century), it's argued that human annual energy ...
3
votes
1answer
408 views

Where does energy for high and low tides come from?

High and low tides are caused by Moon gravity attracting water. Now there's friction, waves cause erosion, their energy is used in power plants yet the tides work for millions of years and are ...
2
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2answers
16k views

Is Keshe's technology for real?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UrN99RELqwo They clain they can create free energy using plasma reactors. Is this fake? M.T. Keshe said that several entities, ...
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4answers
941 views

Angular momentum power plant on Earth

If tidal power plants are slowing down Earth's rotation then is it theoretically possible to build a power plant that would drain energy from Earth's angular momentum (thus slowing down it's ...
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2answers
501 views

Energy from man-made tornadoes

Peter Thiel just paid $300,000 to Canadian inventor Louis Michaud who is working to construct useful "man-made tornadoes" or "atmospheric vortex engines" which could be components of future power ...
3
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0answers
186 views

Theoretically speaking what are the limits for super-capacitors in terms of their storage capability?

According to wikipedia, commercially available super-capacitors in 2010 can store 30Wh/kg, with 85Wh/kg achieved in a lab in 2011. Have any theoretical calculations been done to show what can be ...
2
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2answers
292 views

What are the current possibilities for large-scale storage of electrical energy?

I'm curious as to how large-scale electrical storage is managed now, how much they can store, how well they scale and for how long (and what is their loss rate). (I'm not asking about technological ...
3
votes
5answers
141 views

Is there any possibility in the future that domestic power consumption could be wholly solar powered?

Assuming a standard sized, mid terrace house with four bedrooms, a kitchen with fridge, electrical cooker and washing machine, a bathroom with shower. What would be normal daily energy consumption ...
0
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2answers
169 views

Solar Thermal/Solar Photo-voltaic calculations [closed]

This is my final high school assignment. I'm asked to prepare a research document on Solar Thermal and Solar Photo-voltaic, to prove that these two are feasible alternative power sources to power the ...
2
votes
1answer
259 views

Solar energy and optical fiber

I'm not really good at science or physics, just wanted to ask about the idea (doesn't have an opportunity to test this). Will this scheme work and what can be its efficiency?(The goal is to make ...
4
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3answers
245 views

How far from the Sun is a photovoltaic effective?

Just what the title states. Photovoltaic cells convert incident light to electricity; this probably means they create less electricity when it is dark - as in deep space. How far can a solar cell ...
4
votes
1answer
283 views

Does water need to pumped up from deep ocean?

OTEC (Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion) utilizes the temperature gradient between cold deep ocean water, and warmer water to do work. I understand the pressure in the depths may be as high as a couple ...
10
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3answers
3k views

Where does the electricity, generated by a solar panel, go if you don't use the electricity?

I'm sorry if this question is too trivial for this Q&A forum. I am a layman when it comes to physics (though I did cover the high-school physics courses). I was wondering what happens to the ...
0
votes
2answers
170 views

Is a photovoltaic cell on an artificial satellite the same construction as one used on Earth's surface?

Are photovoltaic cell arrays on a satellite the same that are used within Earth, or is there some difference in their construction given the differing environment in which they are to operate? Does ...
4
votes
1answer
540 views

Wind Turbine Impact

OK, I'm not sure this is not a silly question, but here goes. I've often wondered what the impact is of wind turbines on the weather. My question is, since wind turbines transform wind energy into ...
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0answers
20 views

I want to charge 48V 108Ah battery from 48V 80Watt solar panel. Can anyone write that how much time will take this battery to fully charge? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Charging 12V 150Ah battery I want to charge 48V 108Ah battery from 48V 80 Watt solar panel. Can anyone write that how much time will take this battery to fully charge?
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3answers
179 views

Wind's Sources and Drains (see live map!!)

I was pointed out by a friend to this website that shows live map of wind in US. It sometimes show interesting places where all the wind seems to converge and vanish. What's the origin of such "wind ...
2
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4answers
1k views

why ammonia is not a competitive energy carrier?

reading this article about Germany planning to store renewable energy as hydrogen gas, i'm left wondering why they deem so great this plan, compared with other alternatives like ammonia as a energy ...
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4answers
691 views

Expected Energy Production From High Efficiency Solar Cells

First, a bit about my thoughts. I believe we have the capability today to provide energy, water, food, education, and transportation to every man woman and child on the planet. To that end, I would ...
2
votes
2answers
505 views

Russian Doll Teller Ulam?

Can you trigger a thermonuclear explosion from a smaller thermonuclear explosion in a scaling way, so that starting from a small laser ignited fusion within a small fissile container, using the X-rays ...
2
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4answers
595 views

Easy to understand equivalents for energy (kilowatt-hour)

Is there a database/webpage/other source for obtaining simple, easy to understand and meaningful equivalents for converted energy by a photovoltaic-site (Wh/kWh/MWh/GWh)? Something like "xxxkWh equals ...
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3answers
186 views

Lightning Power?

What is the power source of a lightning? It doesn't consume fuel, nor an atomic fission/fusion, but it discharges a large amount of energy. Is it feasible to create an artificial lightning using the ...
3
votes
3answers
920 views

Would a thinner atmosphere (such as high altitude) yield better solar panel energy generation?

I am curious. If you were to put a solar panel up in high altitude or on the surface of the moon, both of which have much less atmosphere to reflect/refract light, would that solar panel produce more ...
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2answers
1k views

Can energy be extracted from clouds?

Can cloud charge imbalance be used as an energy source? First off quite some energy must be present in clouds: a lightning path is quite long, and electrical breakdown of air requires about 1MV/m. ...
3
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1answer
138 views

Can a solar thermal collector designed for use in homes ever power a stirling engine designed for use in homes?

Can a solar thermal collector common on private roofs today designed for collecting heat for the household ever collect enough heat to power a stirling engine of say this model: ...
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3answers
228 views

If humans were able to catch all sun energy reaching the earth for their use, will the climate change?

I guess that energy will be used up and, at the end, will contribute to heat the earth, so I see no big differences... please explain your point of view.