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
126 views

Is Ronald Ace's “solar trap” patent plausible?

This newspaper article and a few others from last year discussed a patent by independent US inventor Ronald Ace. It's about a kind of absorber for solar thermal energy systems, and it's supposed to ...
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3answers
213 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 ...
6
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3answers
411 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 ...
36
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2answers
3k views

Wind generators - why so few blades?

Why commercial wind generators usually have just 2-3 blades? Having more blades would allow to increase power OR decrease diameter. Decreased diameter would also reduce stress due to different wind ...
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2answers
283 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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1answer
41 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 ...
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4answers
7k views

What happens if a wind mill rotates in opposite direction?

Suppose if a windmill is made torotate in clockwise direction and due to air flow if it rotates in anti clockwise direction then does it produce electricity?
2
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2answers
119 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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2answers
2k views
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0answers
34 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 ...
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2answers
65 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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1answer
223 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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6answers
11k 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
55 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 ...
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6answers
8k 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 ...
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1answer
135 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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3answers
1k 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
3k 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 ...
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1answer
1k views

Would the ionic wind power fence actually work?

Described here and in the references (patent, patent), the idea is to use a large fence as a grid electrode. Spray water droplets near a high voltage to charge them, and then the wind blows them ...
2
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2answers
174 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
47 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 ...
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2answers
49 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 ...
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1answer
141 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 ...
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3answers
2k views

How to calculate the temperature of a receiving point from concentrated solar power?

I'm exploring a DIY project about solar power and have found very few resources that can explain, in a not too simple but not too advanced way, how to go about calculating important values in solar ...
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1answer
369 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 ...
2
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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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3answers
283 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
91 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 ...
3
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1answer
305 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 ...
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1answer
59 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 ...
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0answers
24 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 ...
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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 ...
5
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1answer
708 views

What is the most efficient Organic Photovoltaic solar cell?

Preferably one that is researched in a paper, not necessarily in production. I have found various claims of OPVs with an efficiency of 10%, 8% and 7.3%, the only one I can substantiate is referenced ...
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1answer
53 views
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2answers
73 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
219 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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5answers
38k views

Charging 12V 150Ah battery

I want to charge a 12V battery of 150Ah with a solar panel. The solar panel specs is 12V, 25 Watt. Can anyone please provide me how to calculate that how much time it will take to charge the battery? ...
2
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1answer
302 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 ...
10
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2answers
559 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 ...
10
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3answers
5k 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 ...
3
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1answer
339 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 ...
2
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1answer
191 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
126 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
136 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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2answers
2k 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. ...
1
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1answer
299 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
253 views
3
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1answer
106 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 ...
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4answers
1k 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 ...
4
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3answers
332 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 ...