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Final Project; Water and Solar PowerSCI-218Madelaine Salvatore
IntroductionWater and energy are two very important resources, so learning to use less of them, and use them efficiently is something that must be done. Most of the water on Earth is saltwater, and most of the freshwater is actually frozen in glaciers, therefore water conservation is important, because while it is a renewable resource, it is scarce. Energy is often something we make, but some forms of created energy, like fossil fuels, cause extensive damage to our planet, while others, like solar, are much cleaner and renewable.Water and Energy are important to literally everyone. They are important to me because I’ve wanted to live a green life since I was a child, but the resources I had and currently have make living a green life difficult, I always try to take steps where I can, and renewable energy is the biggest issue to me personally, as I feel fossil fuels are doing the most damage to the planet. Energy is an American and Global issue, America is the second biggest CO2emitter in the world,China being the first, emitting 30% of the CO2. Since CO2emissions are damaging the planet, and we live on the planet, it's a really important issue. If the 5 biggest polluters just tried to use clean energy, it would make a huge improvement.Water is a renewable resource, but its scarce in some areas. Seattle gets a lot of rain, California doesn’t get nearly as much, neither does Egypt. Making water usage more efficient won’t make more water, but it will make the same amount of water stretch further, and that will help people in arid regions.Section 1Solar HistoryThe first ‘solar panel’ was built by Auguste Mouchout, a French inventor, who worked onthe initial project from 1860 to 1881, and powered a steam engine. He later also attached a
refrigerator to the engine to use the power of the sun to make ice. In 1883 American inventor Charles Fritts made a solar panel with 1 - 2% efficiency! Between 1868 and 1888 American JohnEricsson also built a solar powered steam engine, but also began to try to raise awareness of Europe’s depleting coal supply, he knew we wouldn’t be able to rely on fossil fuels forever. In 1954 United States company Bell Labs created a solar cell with 4% efficiency, through the years they would eventually achieve 11% efficiency. 1955 Western Electric started selling commercial photovoltaic technology. In 1958 and 1959 the United States put several satellites into orbit, with solar arrays, generating solar power in space, Russia also launched its own solar powered satellite. An oil embargo in the 1970s for the United States raised awareness that fossil fuels wouldn’t last forever, and Solar Power became a good alternative power, with prices dropping to $20/Watt, from $100/Watt. This movement was basically forgotten when oil prices fell in the 80s and 90s. But the 1978 Energy Tax Act provided tax incentives for American residents to conserve oil and gas, and to switch to alternative energy sources, it helped solar power in the long run.