Questions tagged [solar-energy]

Use for questions about non-photovoltaic solar energy applications, such as passive solar heating or concentrated solar thermal power. For PV applications, use the photovoltaics tag instead.

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Internal Tent Temperature

Here is the problem I am working on: "Consider a perfectly sealed polygonal tent with the sun directly overhead. The solar irradiance of a surface 90° to the sun’s rays is 1,000 W/m2. However, ...
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48 views

Why do solar cells need to be square-shaped?

There were circular solar cells 30 years ago. Why do we have square-shaped solar cells now? Why square? Furthermore, Why do monocrystalline solar cells have rounded/cropped edges?
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38 views

Mirror specification used in Solar Fresnel Collector systems

Im designing a Linear Fresnel collector system, and wanted to know what type of mirrors would be suitable for use as the reflectors. Thickness, type, coating etc. I couldnt find a manufacturer of ''...
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For a given surface area of sunshine are the latest solar panels more or less efficient than a Stirling engine?

I was wondering if the efficiency of current solar panels are better or worse than the current state of the art Stirling engines. I understand the former isn't a static variable and solar panels are ...
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Adding a black plastic layer to increase retained heat in compost

I have some invasive climbing weeds to break down into compost. I don't want to discard the biomass, but I do want to thoroughly kill all the weeds and ideally the seeds over a period of months. The ...
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74 views

Is it economical to use solar energy to manufacture solar panels?

Estimates of area needed to be covered by solar panels to power all of the US using only solar are about equal to a 100 mile by 100 mile tract of land. But solar panels have a lifespan of only a few ...
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Hybrid Energy Monitoring Systems

I have been doing research on renewable energy systems and I must admit that I am a newbie in this specific area. I have noticed that stand-alone systems have their own specific monitoring system ...
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44 views

Charging a Li-po battery (battery output current)

I would like to design a buck converter to use a PV panel to charge a 11.1V 3000mAh 3S 30C Lipo battery. I want to choose the minimum inductance for a CCM ($L=\dfrac{V_{out}T_s}{2I_{out}}$), what is ...
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Best metal for solar energy collection in an evacuated tube solar water heater

I am building an evacuated tube array for a solar water heater and I am selecting the materials to use for the tubing and the collectors (the places connected to the tubing that help absorb the solar ...
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Find the irrigation pumping rate (mass flow rate of a pump) versus time

Here is what we are given. Time ranges from 0 to 10 hours, with t=5 being solar noon. $\dot Q = 90Asin(\pi t/10)$ Watts, where A is the solar collector area in square meters and t is the time after ...
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19 views

Alternative materials for reflectors in solar concentrating systems

Other than the usual silvered mirrors, that are expensive to form into parabolas, what can be used as an effective reflector in parabolic troughs/dishes. I saw a few people tried using Mylar and Al-...
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How does this one-contact solar cell work?

I am unable to grasp how this only-rear-contact solar cell works. From what I understand the solar cell produces electricity by making the top and bottom side of solar cell complementing each other (...
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47 views

Can we use an open expansion tank in solar water heating system?

We all know that in an indirect (closed loop) hydronic system, an expansion tank is needed ,to deal with thermal expansion of the circulating water, that can be either open expansion or closed ...
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Solar power, Battery power to mains voltage

My question is what is the most efficient way to convert 48V D.C. to 220V A.C. Not the easiest or most cost efficient but the most efficient electrically? Also if anyone has any cheats on the best ...
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146 views

Can a Tesla Powerwall 2 be rate limited?

Can a telsa powerwall 2 be rate limited (discharge/charge)? I have access to realtime electricity rates (30 min update interval) and also access to 12 hour predicted look ahead. So I wish to limit ...
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76 views

Correct wind Weibull distribution for wind+solar system

I'm trying to forecast the peak power output for a wind + solar system. The solar output as a function of time of day and month can be forecasted easily. I also have the historical wind speed for a ...
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107 views

Capacity credit vs capacity factor

What is the difference between capacity factor and capacity credit? I know that capacity factor = annual generation / (installed capacity * 8760) but I don't understand how capacity credit is ...
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Would using activated carbon in a solar air collector help due to increased surface area?

Basically put a light coat of activated carbon on the collector, because surface area is so great, but I cant find info on its ability to collect solar energy, esp. compared to other materials. Im ...