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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32 views

How is the kinetic energy of the wind transferred onto a lift based wind turbine?

The rotor blades of a lift based wind turbine are shaped like airfoils, so the wind flowing around them creates a lift force which in turn moves them around. From a thermodynamic viewpoint and like ...
1
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0answers
24 views

How big is the power loss of a downwind wind turbine due to turbulence created by an upwind turbine?

When a horizontal axis wind turbine is placed downwind of another horizontal axis wind turbine (distance between the two is minimal), then the downwind wind turbine has a lower power output because of ...
9
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1answer
218 views

Will the upcoming solar eclipse stress the European electrical grid?

From an article in the Financial Times today, about a solar eclipse on March 20th, 2015: An eclipse of the sun next month could disrupt Europe’s power supplies because so many countries now use ...
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1answer
49 views

Electricity from effervescence, is it possible?

I've had this idea for quite some time (after having a cold and seeing Tabcin sparkling tablets), is there the possibility to generate electricity from effervescence? I envisioned something like the ...
0
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1answer
109 views

Can we make a “Gravity Mill” based on principle(s) of Newton's cradle?

DISCLAIMER: Newbie/Wannabe Physicist. What's to stop us from making a "Gravity Mill" which is a bar/rod attached with weights on both ends and pivoted at the ...
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2answers
93 views

Rare earth minerals in solarcell production

When I was looking at photovoltaic solar cell production I saw that there was some difficulty with rare earth minerals used in the production but i can't find which rare earth minerals. I have tried ...
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2answers
43 views

Is the amount of hydro-electricity harvested, proportional to the number of turbines? [closed]

I've looked on this site and people have said that it wouldn't make more energy that it would cost to have water turbines on a water tower. But if it only takes say three pumps (I don't know what it ...
2
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2answers
194 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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2answers
60 views

Potential energy of Hydroelectric plant before the dam was built

So the energy potential of a Hydroelectric dam is the difference between the head and base. Before the dam was built where does all that energy go? I can understand that for a long valley that is ...
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0answers
20 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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2answers
108 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?
6
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3answers
356 views

Optimal speed for the water wheel

The hydroelectricity plants extract the potential energy of highly deployed massive object (water) as it falls down. Without turbine, all that energy would be converted into speed (kinetic energy) at ...
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1answer
46 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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2answers
45 views

Question on power

A wind turbine produces a power $P$ when the wind speed is $v$. Assuming that the efficiency of the turbine is constant, the best estimate for the power produced when the wind speed becomes $2v$ is ...
3
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1answer
264 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
70 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 ...
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2answers
1k views

Is plant photosynthesis more efficient than solar panels?

Is photosynthesis more efficient than solar panels? If so, by how much?
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3answers
215 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
58 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
85 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
172 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 ...
3
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4answers
112 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?
3
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0answers
125 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
300 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
1k 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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6answers
9k 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 ...
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1answer
277 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
237 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
2k views

Where does electricity go from a solar panel that is not plugged in to anything?

I found a similar question here on this site, but my question is slightly different. If a solar panel is exposed to sunlight but is not plugged in to anything--dc load, inverter, etc--where does that ...
3
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2answers
124 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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6answers
6k 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
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1answer
266 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
101 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
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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1answer
161 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
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1answer
487 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
20k 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
1k 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 ...
10
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2answers
537 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
224 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
400 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
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5answers
143 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
222 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
289 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
votes
3answers
299 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
329 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
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2answers
206 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 ...
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1answer
134 views

Do you think it’s possible to make a power plant of the described kind?

We are working on a science project and try to engineer a power plant of a new kind. It is called Air HES (air hydroelectric station). The idea is described on our website. Do you think it is ...