Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Solar Energy

Of all the different renewable energy types, solar energy is the most abundant and fundamental of them all. After all, almost all forms of energy on earth ultimately came from the sun. The wind, the plants, even fossil fuels that came from animals that ate plants. How about if we could harvest electricity directly from the sun? Well, its possible with today's photovoltaics. The only drawback is that it's still much more expensive compared to traditional fossil fuels. This is the begining of a series of reviews on existing and future solar technologies. For a comprehensive look at photovoltaics, you can browse through the landmark Handbook of Photovoltaic Science and Engineering by Luque and Hegedus on google books. It has all the info you need to know on the basic principles, limitations, and theoretical background. In these reviews, I will outline these principles in more simple terms. I will also connect these scietific principles with existing products and ultimately the factors that influence the energy we buy.

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