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I think EnergyNumbers's Answer is an excellent one, but could leave some people a bit mystified by what exactly a "direct ray" is and what exactly its relevance is. The essential idea here is that a Fresnel lens is an imaging machine: it puts a curvature on a low aberration wavefront so that that wavefront converges. Its working depends on there being ...


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The system you describe, a water tower with pumps and turbines, is a version of a pumped hydro storage system. The amount of energy stored in a pumped hydro storage system is defined by the elevation, i.e. the height that the water is lifted; multiplied by the volume of water that is lifted (assuming that the height the water will fall, is the same as the ...


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Rare earth elements aren't really used much in PV at all. The market is dominated by silicon cells (~95% of the market). The next big player is Cadmium Telluride (~5% of the market). The rest are pretty insignificant. Also, note that rare-earth elements are (with the exception of Promethium) not particularly rare.



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