Act18_sol - 3/3/05 Activity 18 Solutions: Uses of Solar...

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Activity 18 Solutions: Uses of Solar Energy 18.1 Alternative Energy Sources 1) Comparison of energy sources List the advantages and disadvantages of the various energy sources discussed (fossil fuels, nuclear, tidal, hydroelectric, geothermal, wind, biomass) Which are ultimately forms of solar energy? All of the above energy sources are ultimately forms of solar energy except nuclear, tidal, and geothermal. Fossil fuels have the advantage of currently being cheap and rather plentiful. On the other hand, supplies are believed to be limited, mining and drilling for coal, oil and gas can be environmentally destructive, burning fossil fuels creates pollution and releases greenhouse gasses. Nuclear power plants do not release greenhouse gasses or give off pollution. There is a safety problem with older nuclear power plants and all nuclear power plants generate radioactive waste, a problem for which there is yet no feasible solution. Tidal, hydroelectric, geothermal, wind, and biomass energy sources do not produce pollution but can still harm the ecosystem in their implementation (damming rivers can kill off fish which spawn upstream, drilling geothermal wells may be a threat to certain ecosystems such as the rain forests in Hawaii.) Solar energy seems to be the most environmentally friendly energy source. However, the manufacturing of solar cells can involve CFCs, which destroy the ozone layer. Furthermore, solar energy is still too expensive to be cost effective in many instances. This is the result of a combination of manufacturing costs and low efficiency of solar cells. Hopefully, solar energy will soon become much cheaper and its advantages will outweigh its disadvantages. 18.2 Using Solar Energy 2) Solar insolation a) What is solar insolation? Solar insolation is the amount of solar power received by a given area. (Note: insolation should not be confused with insulation, which is used to restrict the flow of heat.) b) What factors affect how much insolation a given region receives? The latitude, the time of year, the time of day, and the amount of cloud
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This note was uploaded on 06/11/2011 for the course PHYSICS 104 taught by Professor Staff during the Winter '11 term at Ohio State.

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Act18_sol - 3/3/05 Activity 18 Solutions: Uses of Solar...

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