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Proceedings Paper

Now To Harness The Sun!
Author(s): E. L. Solar Energy Research Institute
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Paper Abstract

Recognition of the necessity to fully develop alternative energy resources has resulted in renewed interest in capturing energy from the sun. The daily average amount of energy delivered to the earth by this essentially eternal source is a staggering 14,170 quads (1 quad = 101b Btu), compared to an annual world energy consumption of approximately 225 quads. The United States alone accounts for 35 percent, i.e., 79 quads, of the world's annual energy consumption. The incentives to harness the sun's energy are clear solar energy is free, clean, and abundant. However, the task of harvesting the energy and directing or controlling the manner in which it is used is an arduous one that encompasses diverse technologies, including direct and indirect conversion mechanisms. The solar technologies are photovoltaics, biomass conversion, solar thermal (including passive design), wind, ocean systems, and hydropower. Near-and mid-term energy contributions from solar passive design and active heating and cooling systems, wind energy conversion systems, and elements of biomass conversion such as alcohol production are expected. Later year contributions from photovoltaics, ocean systems, large solar thermal installations, and other biomass conversion processes are very promising. The impact of government policies, energy conservation, and the availability of other energy resources on the development of the solar options is significant and may influence the energy contribution that is achieved.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 September 1980
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 0258, Optics to the Year 2000, (30 September 1980); doi: 10.1117/12.959634
Show Author Affiliations
E. L. Solar Energy Research Institute, Solar Energy Research Institue (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0258:
Optics to the Year 2000
William O. Davies, Editor(s)

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