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Time to Shine: Applications of Solar Energy Technology

ISBN: 978-1-118-01621-3
152 pages
May 2012
Time to Shine: Applications of Solar Energy Technology (1118016211) cover image


As solar energy becomes increasingly more important in all of our lives, it is more important to learn how it works and how it can be implemented. This book is the perfect primer for the engineer, scientist, and layperson alike, for learning about the practical applications of solar energy technology and how it is being used today to heat homes, light city streets, and provide power worldwide.
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Table of Contents

Summary ix

About this book xi

Terminology xiii

Introduction: Solar Energy xv

The Incoming Solar Radiation 1

The Availability and Power Density Issue - Fossil vs. Solar Energy 3

The Need for Tracking 4

The Basic Solar Energy Heat Transfers 7

Heat Transfer - Experiment and Simulation 8

Solar Energy Heat Transfer Modes 18

Individual Transfers 18

Compound or Grouped Heat

Transfer (CHT) 28

Heat Capacity: Phase Change Materials (PCM), Heat Storage and “Thermal Mass” 31

Overall Heat Transfer 35

Solar Thermal Energy Product Requirements 43

Selected Solar Thermal Applications 47

Solar Water Heaters (SWH) 47

Solar Space Heating 52

Direct Gain 53

Windows and Glazings in Solar Space Heating 53

Active and Passive Solar Energy 56

Passive Solar Heating and Overheating 58

Purely Active Solar Heating 62

Large-Scale Glazed Solar Thermal Plants 63

Solar High Temperature Applications 70

Solar Tower Central Receiver Plants 70

Trough Plants 72

Dish Stirling 72

Solar Chimney Power Plants (CSP) 73

Solar Thermal Pumps 77

Divers Applications 77

Cookers 78

Domestic Solar Cookers 78

Institutional Solar Cookers 81

Autoclave Sterilizers 84

Direct UV Pasteurizers 87

Solar Driers 88

Solar Thermal Energy - The “Software” 92

Impacts 92

The Market 93

The Determination of Solar Food Mass and Cooking Time 95

Solar PV 101

PV - Basic Characteristics 101

Shading 102

The Temperature Effect 103

Electricity and Grids 103

PV Applications 105

Solar Air Planes 108

Solar Boats 109

Dedicated Power Supplies 112

“Plug” Power Supplies 112

PV Power Plants 113

Conclusions Beyond Solar 117

Case Studies 118

Solar Energy in a High-density Urban Environment 118

“Solar Casbah”: Low-Cost Solar

Energy Vision 119

An Up-market, High-Tech Vision 123

Solar Thermal vs. Solar PV: The Battle of the Water Heaters 124

The Evolving Grid: 125

Remarks on Energy Planning 126

Solar for Existing Settlements 127

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Author Information

Michael Grupp obtained his PhD in nuclear solid-state physics at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. In 1977, he set up an independent energy research unit called Synopsis in southern France, undertook innovative solar energy R&D, and soon broadened his scope to applications for less developed countries. He has proposed and coordinated projects in Europe, Africa, and India concerning technical, production, market, and acceptance aspects, as well as their methodological implications. Dr. Grupp has received a European Solar Prize in 2004 and serves on several scientific committees and editorial boards. Married with four children, Michael Grupp was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in the early '90s.

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