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Solar Power


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Title: Solar Power

Solar Power
  • An introduction to the history, technologies,
    policy applications and future of solar power.

Solar Power A brief history
  • 7th century B.C. A magnifying glass is used to
    concentrate the suns rays to light fires for
    light, warmth and cooking.
  • 1st - 4th century Roman bath houses are built
    with large, south-facing windows to aid in
    temperature control
  • 13th century Ancestors of the Pueblo people
    known as the Anasazi build south-facing cliff
    dwellings that capture the warmth of the winter

Above Anasazi cliff dwellings demonstrate
passive solar design techniques. Passive design
is also noted in the architecture of early
Mesopotania and the highly developed societies of
early South America. from
Solar Power A brief history
  • 1839 French scientist Edmond Becquerel
    discovers the photovoltaic effect while
    experimenting with an electrolytic cell composed
    of two metal electrodes in conducting solution.
  • 1954 Chapin, Fuller and Pearson at Bell
    Telephone Laboratories develop the first silicon
    photovoltaic (or PV). Its the first solar cell
    capable of generating enough power from the sun
    to run everyday electrical equipment.
  • Mid-1950s to 1960 PV efficiency increases from
    6 efficiency to 14 in 1960 (Hoffman
    Electronics). Silicon solar cells become the
    most widely accepted energy source for space
  • 1970 Dr. Elliot Berman in conjunction with
    Exxon Corporation designs a significantly less
    costly solar cell, bringing the price down from
    100 per watt to 20 per watt.

Solar Power A brief history
  • 1970s Energy Crisis Oil costs 40/barrel,
    Solar RD budget increases to 150 million and a
    40 tax credit is offered for residential solar
    system installs up to 10,000.
  • 1978 NASAs Lewis Research Center installs a
    3.5-kilowatt photovoltaic system on Papago Indian
    Reservation in AZ. The worlds first village PV
    system provides enough electricity for 15 homes
    and eventually for the entire village (in 1983).
  • 1982 The first megawatt-scale PV power station
    goes on line in Hisperia, CA.
  • 1985 Researchers at University of South Wales
    break the 20 efficiency barrier for silicon
    solar cells.
  • Mid-1980s Oil costs 10/barrel, solar RD
    funding is slashed 75 and residential tax
    credits are eliminated. 90 of solar thermal
    manufacturers go out of business.

Solar Power A brief history
  • 1993 Pacific Gas and Electric Company installs
    the first grid-supported PV system in Kerman, CA.
    This 500-kilowatt system is the first
    distributed power PV installation.
  • 1996 The U.S. Department of Energy and an
    industry consortium begin operating Solar Two
    an upgrade to the Solar One concentrating solar
    power tower.

Solar Power A brief history
  • 1998 Subhendu Guha invents the flexible solar
  • 1999 Spectrolab, Inc. and the National
    Renewable Energy Laboratory develop a 32.3
    efficient solar cell.
  • 2001 Home Depot begins selling residential
    solar power systems in three San Diego store,
    expanding sales to 61 stores nationwide a year
  • 2002 PowerLight Corporation installs the
    largest rooftop solar power system in the U.S.
    a 1.18 megawatt system at the Santa Rita Jail in

Above Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, CA. This 1.18
megawatt PV system spans three (3) acres and
supplies 30 of the jail electricity. Credit
PowerLight Corporation
  • Declining costs coupled with improved
    reliability, efficiency and availability have led
    to an increase in active solar technology use and
    application worldwide. PV technologies have
    shown large utility-connected application
    increases for homes and businesses. Japan,
    Germany and the United States have led this boom,
    with California leading the way for the US.
  • A flourishing solar industry (particularly
    grid-connected) requires three main ingredients
    government support, competitive pricing (which
    may require high electric prices and abundant
  • Passive technologies are frequently integrated in
    new building construction.
  • Environmentally conscious consumers have long
    seen the potential benefits PV systems offer a
    quiet, clean energy alternative with no moving

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Solar Power Solar today
  • Domestic sales of PVs doubled in 1999, and PV
    costs have plummeted form 1.00/kWh in 1980 to
    0.20/kWh in 2000.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that
    costs will be cut in half again in the next few
  • Solar water heating, which is cost competitive in
    much of the U.S., is used in 2.1 million
    buildings in the U.S. Tokyo alone has one that 1
    million buildings using the technology.
  • In 2003, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue installed a
    9-kilowatt PV system which feeds directly into
    the White House distribution system. Two solar
    thermal systems were also installed one to heat
    the pool and spa and one to provide domestic hot
  • Common PV applications included telecommuncations
    equipment, consumer products, emergency power,
    space applications, building integration systems,
    water pumps, solar lighting, gate openings and
    roofing materials.

Solar Power Financing Incentives
  • The cost of a solar system is directly
    proportional to how much energy is required.
    Most vendors offer package systems that range
    from 1 kW for a small energy-efficient home to
    2.5 kW for an average large home.
  • To determine the desired size for a
    grid-connected solar electric system the
    following questions should be considered
  • What is your monthly electrical usage?
  • How much can you reduce your electrical use?
  • What percentage of electrical needs do you want
    to meet with your system?
  • What is the amount of sunlight available at your
  • What is the rated output of the solar electric
    panels you are considering purchasing?
  • How many panels are needed? What is your
    expected peak load? What size inverter do you
    need? What size battery bank do you require?

Solar Power Financing Incentives
  • A typical household PV system costs between
    10,000 and 40,000, before incentives and
    rebates. The average home could meet 80 of its
    electricity needs with a 2 kW system.
  • The primary factors influencing PV economics
  • Amount of direct sunshine your location receives.
  • The amount of solar energy falling per square
    meter in Arizona in June is typically three times
    greater than that falling in Maine.
  • The quantity is also affected by the time of day,
    the climate and regional air pollution.
  • Cost of electric grid power.
  • Long-term interest rates.
  • Available government incentives, subsidies and
  • Corporate Deduction Franchise Tax Deduction
  • Property Tax Exemption
  • Utility Loan Programs Austin Energy Solar Loan
  • Utility Green Pricing Programs Austin Green
  • Outreach Programs Texas Million Solar Roofs

Solar Power 2003/2004 Energy Bill
  • Proposed Residential Solar Tax Credits
  • Residential PV and solar water heating
    installations receive a tax credit equal to 15
    of the total cost of equipment, capped at 2,000
  • Proposed Renewable Energy Research and
    Development Appropriation Levels
  • 595,000,000 for FY 2004
  • 683,000,000 for FY 2005
  • 733,000,000 for FY 2006

Solar Power The Future
  • The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy
    Technologies Program predicts that major
    breakthroughs will occur in PV research and
    development which include
  • New materials
  • New cell designs
  • Novel approaches to product development
  • Solar transportation
  • Solar clothing
  • A desert area 10 miles by 15 miles could provide
    20,000 megawatts of power.
  • If solar cells were placed on the rooftops of the
    ten (10) largest U.S. retail chains (Walmart,
    Target, etc.), the electricity needs of the
    United States could theoretically be met.

Solar Power The Future
  • The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that by
    2020, solar energy costs will be competitive with
    fossil fuels. It is projected that by 2020,
    retail electricity (intermediate load) will be
    0.04 - 0.06/kWh.
  • To achieve this goal, a total commitment is
  • Robust and timely federal RD solar energy
  • Innovative minds in the field
  • State and federal government incentives
  • Education and resource availability

Solar Power How Solar Works
  • Solar cells are converters. They take energy
    from the sunlight and convert that energy into
  • Most solar cells are made from silicon, which is
    a semi-conductor or a semi-metal
  • Solar cells are made by joining two types of
    semi-conducting material P-type and N-type.
  • At the atomic level, light consists of pure
    energy particles, called photons.

Above The worlds largest solar power facility
near Kramer Junction, CA. The facility covers
more than 1000 acres with a capacity of 150
Solar Power How Solar Works
  • Above The photons from the sun penetrate and
    randomly strike the
  • silicon atoms. The atom becomes ionized, passing
    energy to
  • the outer electron, thereby allowing the outer
    electron to break
  • free from the atom. An electric current is

Solar Power
  • Active Solar systems and technology
  • Active solar systems use solar collectors and
    additional electricity to power pumps or fans to
    distribute the sun's energy. The heart of a solar
    collector is a black absorber which converts the
    sun's energy into heat. The heat is then
    transferred to another location for immediate
    heating or for storage for use later. The heat is
    transferred by circulating water, antifreeze or
    sometimes air
  • Passive solar Technology
  • A passive system does not use a mechanical device
    to distribute solar heat from a collector. An
    example of a passive system for space heating is
    a sunspace or solar greenhouse on the south side
    of the house. Although passive systems are
    simpler, they may be impractical for a variety of

What is Active Solar
  • Harnessing incoming solar radiation through the
    use of solar collectors to produce energy
  • Uses include water heating for use in the home
    and in swimming pools. As well as space heating
    in the home
  • Active solar System

Solar energy production systems
  • Photovoltaic Cells the building block of solar
  • Trough Solar Systems-large scale energy
  • C.S.P. Concentrating Solar Power

Photovoltaic Cells
  • Solar cells convert sunlight directly into
    electricity. They are made of semiconducting
    materials similar to those used in computer
    chips. When sunlight is absorbed by these
    materials, the solar energy knocks electrons
    loose from their atoms, allowing the electrons to
    flow through the material to produce electricity.
    This process of converting light (photons) to
    electricity (voltage) is called the photovoltaic
    (PV) effect.

Photovoltaic Cells
  • Commercial photovoltaic cells deliver, as
    electricity, approximately 15 of the solar
    energy that hits them. Technical improvements are
    steadily increasing the efficiency and reducing
    the cost.(
  • However high performance cells in development now
    are producing energy from nearly one third of the
    suns incoming energy!!

Trough systems
  • A collector field comprises many troughs in
    parallel rows aligned on a north-south axis. This
    configuration enables the single-axis troughs to
    track the sun from east to west during the day to
    ensure that the sun is continuously focused on
    the receiver pipes. Individual trough systems
    currently can generate about 80 megawatts of
    electricity, enough to power a city of 110,000
    people. Of course, individual systems can be
    grouped to provide more power.
  • Often these systems are hybridized with fossil
    fuels to produce power 24 hours a day.
  • The first parabolic trough solar power plant
    became operational in 1984, and continues to
    provide power today.
  • Parabolic-trough systems concentrate the sun's
    energy through long rectangular, curved
    (U-shaped) mirrors. The mirrors are tilted toward
    the sun, focusing sunlight on a pipe that runs
    down the center of the trough. This heats the oil
    flowing through the pipe. The hot oil then is
    used to boil water in a conventional steam
    generator to produce electricity.

  • A dish/engine system uses a mirrored dish
    (similar to a very large satellite dish). The
    dish-shaped surface collects and concentrates the
    sun's heat onto a receiver, which absorbs the
    heat and transfers it to fluid within the engine.
    The heat causes the fluid to expand against a
    piston or turbine to produce mechanical power.
    The mechanical power is then used to run a
    generator or alternator to produce electricity
  • (

Passive Solar
  • A passive system does not use a mechanical device
    to distribute solar heat from a collector. An
    example of a passive system for space heating is
    a sunspace or solar greenhouse on the south side
    of the house. Although passive systems are
    simpler, they may be impractical for a variety of
  • Solar home design- layout
  • Direct Gain- sunlight directly enters the space
    it is intended to heat, and is stored and
    released in that area.
  • Indirect gain- Trombie Walls
  • Isolated Gain- sun rooms
  • Heating
  • Lighting

Solar Home Design
  • Aperture (Collector) the large glass (window)
    area through which sunlight enters the building.
    Typically, the aperture(s) should face within 30
    degrees of true south and should not be shaded by
    other buildings or trees from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    each day during the heating season.
  • Absorber the hard, darkened surface of the
    storage element. This surfacewhich could be that
    of a masonry wall, floor, or partition (phase
    change material), or that of a water
    containersits in the direct path of sunlight.
    Sunlight hits the surface and is absorbed as
  • Thermal mass the materials that retain or store
    the heat produced by sunlight. The difference
    between the absorber and thermal mass, although
    they often form the same wall or floor, is that
    the absorber is an exposed surface whereas
    storage is the material below or behind that
  • Distribution the method by which solar heat
    circulates from the collection and storage points
    to different areas of the house. A strictly
    passive design will use the three natural heat
    transfer modesconduction, convection, and
    radiationexclusively. In some applications,
    however, fans, ducts, and blowers may help with
    the distribution of heat through the house.
  • Control roof overhangs can be used to shade the
    aperture area during summer months. Other
    elements that control under- and/or overheating
    include electronic sensing devices, such as a
    differential thermostat that signals a fan to
    turn on operable vents and dampers that allow or
    restrict heat flow low-emissivity blinds and

Solar Home Design
  • In the northern hemisphere the south side of a
    home or building always receives the most solar
    radiation, or light.
  • Therefore orienting a home with its broad side
    towards the south, and placing more windows on
    that side and the least amount on the west
    optimizes the effects of the sun in the winter.
  • Homes designed with extended overhangs or eves
    around the homes roof line aid in shading of the
    high summer suns rays.
  • Using a 6 inch exterior wall width also aids in
    the insulation of the home. As well as using
    quality double pained windows, with wood or vinyl
    casements to lower heat exchange through the
  • Also a heat absorbent flooring material used
    beneath south facing windows helps in radiant
    heating of the home.

Solar Home Design
  • A window's heat transmittance is measured by
    U-factor. A smaller U-factor provides more
    insulating value than a larger one. The smaller
    the number, the better. With today's technology,
    a window is considered energy efficient if its
    U-factor is less than 0.40. To achieve this
    energy-efficiency standard, the glass is coated
    with a very thin layer of material that is
    engineered to transmit or reject certain
    frequencies of radiation. This coated glass is
    called low-emissivity (low-e) glass.
  • Glass's transmittance is measured by solar heat
    gain coefficient (SHGC), which is a decimal
    number less than one. A number of 0.60 means that
    60 percent of the solar radiation passes into the
    house and 40 percent is rejected back into the
    environment. Passive solar heating requires a
    high SHGCin other words, a window that lets
    solar radiation pass into the space.

Solar Home Design
  • Quite often passive solar homes are built using
    glass that rejects solar energy (low SHGC). This
    can be a costly mistake. When selecting the
    glass, here are some general rules of thumb you
    can follow
  • East- and west-facing glass should have a low
    SHGC (less than 0.40).
  • South-facing glass should have a high SHGC if the
    house has a proper overhang. If it doesn't,
    you'll need a low SHGC glass, but then you won't
    have a solar house because you're rejecting the
    solar gain.
  • The SHGC makes little difference on the north
    facade. Because most windows get low U-values by
    adding low-e coatings, it comes at a price.
  • Typically, the low U-value windows also reject
    most solar gains (low SHGC). Therefore, it may be
    difficult to buy a low U-value window with a high
    SHGC. The right choice is dependent upon the

Passive heating
  • Trombie Wall- basically a thermal mass on the
    interior of a home heated by sunlight from south
    facing windows that then radiates heat throughout
    the interior of the home. Solid masonry wall
    works well storing about 200 calories per kg
    per degree centigrade. The more massive the
    better. Also needs to be thermally conductive so
    that the energy stored in one place moves
    uniformly across the wall for re-radiation. Also
    dark colored.
  • Solarium- greenhouses or sunrooms attached to the
    home can provide substantial heat resources for a

Solar Energy in Texas
  • Texas has more renewable energy potential than
    any other state due to its size and diverse
    climate. The main obstacle is developing
    technology that can tap non-polluting resource.

  • TX is largest user of energy in the US
  • TX is the sixth largest user of energy in the
  • TX imported 7 billion dollars of energy last
    year, and this amount increases by 1 billion
    dollars each year
  • In less than 40 minutes, Texas receives more
    solar energy than all fossil fuels used in
    America could produce in one year.

Solar Resources in Texas
  • Texas Solar Energy Society for Texas
  • Texas Renewable Energy Industries Assoc.
  • Texas Renewable Energy Education Campaign
  • Texas Million Solar Roofs Partnership

Texas Solar Energy Society
  • Non-profit organization educating citizens, govt
    and institutions on readiness and benefits of
    renewable energy technologies and their practical
  • Research projects include passive solar
    buildings, natural lighting for buildings, solar
    electric cars, wind powered electricity,
    hydropower, solar thermal applications, renewable
    and general energy education
  • The TXSES chapter in the Dallas-Fort Worth area
    is called the North Texas Renewable Energy Group,
    or "NTREG
  • For more info go to

Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association
  • A non-profits consisting of over 100member
    companies and organizations providing products,
    services and information in the areas of solar
    electricity and hot water, small and large wind
    generation, and more!
  • A referral service for individuals, companies and
    agencies seeking access to renewable energy
    expertise and technology.
  • Maintain an effective relationship with our
    local, state, and national governments.
  • Increase public awareness of the "here and now"
    contribution of renewables, as well as of their
    vast potential.

Texas Renewable Energy Education Campaign(TEED)
  • NEED programs in Texas provide energy education
    curriculum materials and training to K-12
    students and teachers.
  • TX NEED ProjectContact Mary SpruillNEED
    ProjectPO Box 10101Manassas, VA 20108TEL
    (703) 257-1117FAX (703) 257-0037EMAIL

Texas Million Solar Roofs Partnership
  • Texas Million Solar Roofs Partnership (TMSRP) was
    formed in August, 1999 with seventeen charter
    members. Each of these member organizations
    signed a TMSRTP agreement form, committing to a
    specific number of solar installations by 2010.
    In September 1999, Texas became the MSRI's 41st
  • TMRSP will help solar instillations by
  • piloting a certification and accreditation
    program for PV practitioners training and
    certification program
  • developing and implementing a plan for the MSR
  • communicating the program's progress and results
    through a variety of methods, like e-newsletters,
    this web site, and press releases

Where is MSRI now?
  • To date, 178.3 kW of PV and 13,500 sf of Solar
    Hot Water Heating systems plus 8 residential
    units have been installed.
  • ?Are one of the 8 residential units include
    Bushs Crawford ranch?
  • Published 3/17/04

County Examples
  • El Paso Solar Energy Association
  • Solar San Antonio, Inc.
  • North Texas Renewable Energy Group
  • http//

El Paso Solar Energy Association
  • The El Paso Solar Energy Association (EPSEA), a
    non-profit, was founded in 1978 and is the
    oldest, continuously active, local solar
    organization in the United States.
  • Purpose is to help facilitate the further
    development and implementation of solar energy
    and other renewable energies with an economic,
    social, ecologic, and education perspective
    predominantly in the Western Texas, southern New
    Mexico, and Northern Mexico
  • Conducts demonstrations, info booths, and project
    development work in the above regions about
    renewable energy.

Solar San Antonio
  • Non-profit working to educate and advocate a
    viable future for future people in San Antonio
    and South Texas using renewable energy and
    sustainable practices.
  • Working with multiple services to create a
    showcase of solar energy.
  • Assisting to provide an exemplary solar powered
    commercial building.
  • Partner with SA Development Agency to provide
    energy efficiency, solar hot water, and
    electricity to a low income family.
  • Establish a resource center
  • Assist SAISD to implement a solar installation.

  • The TXSES chapter in the Dallas-Fort Worth area
    is called the North Texas Renewable Energy Group,
    or "NTREG". They maintain a discussion group at
    http//, named "ntreg", and
    schedule regular meetings. For more information,
    please join the discussion group or contact Mike

Federal ResourcesSolar Energy Technologies
  • One of 11 programs within the U.S. Department
    of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and
    Renewable Energy.
  • Focus on developing solar energy technologies
    to power our world.
  • The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable
    Energy under DOE
  • Great resource for general source of
    information, links to incentives by state, and
    for potential research partners in industry or
  • Lots of grant information for projects!!!!
  • http//

Federal Programs
  • Million Solar Roofs- Clinton set up June 1997
  • an initiative to install solar energy systems on
    one million U.S. buildings by 2010, specifically
    solar electric systems solar thermal systems
  • By soliciting volunteer participation with
    state, local, and groups the DOE hopes to remove
    barriers to solar energy use and to develop and
    strengthen demand for solar energy products and
    applications by developing a pool of existing
    federal lending and financial options and
    leveraging other financial support.
  • The MSRI participates in state incentives and
    other resources. National Database of State
    Incentives for Renewable Energy partnerships
    can apply annually with DOE grants. In 2001, 34
    partners received 1.5 mil for development
    implementation activities.

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Federal Programs cntd
  • Rebuild America (U.S. Dept of Energy)
  • Part of the Office of Energy Efficiency and
    Renewable Energy. Rebuild America is a network of
    hundreds of community based projects across the
    nation who are saving energy by enhancing the
    quality of life through energy efficiency and
    renewable energy technologies. Created by the
    U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in 1994, Rebuild
    America serves as a mechanism for revitalization
    and job creation in many U.S. communities.
  • Energy Education- provides materials, resources
    and background information to teachers and
    parents who are interested in facilitating
    learning through the investigation of energy
    efficient topics.
  • Energy Sources This includes having students
    learn the changing sources for energy over time,
    various uses for energy, and the sources of
    energy. It also introduces the concept of
    renewable and non-renewable categories for energy

Energy Plan
  • Tax credits of up to 2,000 for installing solar
    panels on residential homes.
  • While solar energy technologies have undergone
    technological and cost improvements and are well
    established in high value market areas continued
    research is needed to reduce costs and improve
    efficiency. Solar accounts for 1 of renewable
    electricity generation and 0.02 of total U.S.
    electrical supply.
  • Ironic eh since both the Crawford Ranch and the
    White House are powered by solar energy!
  • Also,

Suggestions for state local incentives
  • At the present time there are no financial
    assistance programs for individual homeowners
    purchasing solar energy systems. However,
    consumers can take advantage of net energy
    billing, property tax and franchise tax
    exemptions Property Tax Exemption
  • There is a need for incentives for homebuilders,
    homeowners, and businesses to invest in solar.
  • Money taken off other bills for selling your
    excess power back to the city.

  • Manufacturers
  • Examples of solar technology
  • Large (PVs)
  • Small, examples
  • Solar powered sensor light
  • Solar powered rechargeable battery
  • Solar cookers

Why Solar?
  • Solar Energy can benefit the US by
  • reduce our dependence on imported fuels
  • stimulate our economy by creating jobs in the
    manufacturing and installation of solar energy
  • diversify our energy supply
  • offset greenhouse gas emissions