Lect17 -- Solar

Reality solar cells make more energy that initially

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Unformatted text preview: ellis AFB, Nevada 14 MW max Area = 140 acres = 0.56 km2 Started in 2007 (an early pioneer) California Valley Solar 250 MW under construction Due to be complete by end of 2013 Making back energy with solar PV Myth: Solar PV cells require more energy to manufacture than they produce in their lifetime. Reality: Solar cells make more energy that initially invested within a few years. The problems with photovoltaics Solar cells don’t last forever –  damage from radiation, cosmic rays create crystal imperfections –  useful life is ~30 years (though maybe more?) –  manufacturers often guarantee < 20% degradation in 25 years Some toxic chemicals used during production, so not entirely environmentally friendly Much land area would have to be covered, with corresponding loss of habitat – not clear that this is worse than mining/processing and power plant land use (plus thermal pollution of rivers) Pros and cons of solar Advantages Renewable Technology available Disadvantages High Capital...
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This document was uploaded on 12/05/2013.

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