• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Solar Power

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Since the U.S. is at war in the Middle East to protect its foreign oil interests, we have seen a rapid fluctuation in oil prices, first 35$, and 70$, and in recent days 115$` (Matthew Knight, CNN). As China, India and other nations rapidly increase their demand for fossil fuels; future fighting over energy looms large. In the meantime, power plants that burn coal, oil and natural gas, as well as vehicles everywhere, continue to pour millions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere annually, threatening the planet. Scientists, engineers, economists and politicians have proposed various steps that could slightly reduce fossil-fuel use and emissions. These steps are not enough. The U.S. needs a system to free itself from fossil fuels. My analysis is that a massive switch to solar power is the logical answer. Solar energy's potential is off the chart. The energy in sunlight striking the earth for 40 minutes is equivalent to global energy consumption for a year. (Solar Southwest), and this shows the practicality of solar energy, but there are many other steps needed to successfully achieve this goal. ...read more.

Middle

We would need 30,000 square miles of photovoltaic arrays to be put up (A.Leitner, B.Owens, Platt's Research and consulting). Although this area may sound enormous, installations already in place show that the land required for each gigawatt-hour of solar energy produced in the Southwest is less than that needed for a coal-powered plant when factoring in land for coal mining (CHRIS RHODES, ENERGY BALANCE). Studies by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., show that more than enough land in the Southwest is available without requiring use of environmentally sensitive areas, population centers or difficult terrain (NREL). The main limiting factor of solar power, of course, is that it generates little electricity when skies are cloudy and none at night. Excess power must be produced during sunny hours and stored for use during the night. Most energy storage systems such as batteries are expensive or inefficient. Compressed-air energy storage has emerged as a successful alternative. Electricity from photovoltaic plants compresses air and pumps it into vacant underground caverns, abandoned mines, aquifers and depleted natural gas wells. The pressurized air is released on demand to turn a turbine that generates electricity, aided by burning small amounts of natural gas. ...read more.

Conclusion

No major technical advances seem to be needed, but more experience would help refine operations. (CHRIS RHODES, ENERGY BALANCE) We have the technology at our fingertips ready to go, but we need an initiative to do so, and personally I see no greater initiative to start using technologies than protecting the future of our planet. These new technologies and methods that we have can significantly improve our odds against fighting smog, pollution, toxins, and other dangerous material to the environment. Most of these technologies are implemented today in one shape or another, but in order to create a massive combination of these, we need a firm and strong base to withstand the sheer monumental size of the project. That base of operations is what is lacking today and we just do not have the mindset, not to mention the power to create such a system. However, this plan might be a viable option in the near future, and with today's rapidly expanding technological innovations, it's extremely likely that by the year 2050, we will already be utilizing a power system similar to this in its design on a full scale. And in that near future, these greener and more economically feasible technologies might just be what it takes to undo the damage already done to our beautiful planet we call home, Earth. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Systems and Control section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Systems and Control essays

  1. Bicycle Alarm Project

    This gives the Boolean expression below. Linking the "0"s Linking the "1"s f = 1 = A.D + A.C + D.B f = 0 = A.B + A.D + C.D In NAND only In NOR only f = 0 = (A.D)

  2. Design and Technology Project Design an Advertisement

    Ten weeks worth of periods (40) have been allocated for the development and construction of my circuit. I have planned this work in the flow diagram below. Six school weeks worth of periods (24) have been allocated for preparation and building of the materials part of my project.

  1. An electronics firm wishes to introduce a range burglar alarms. This coursework contains the ...

    Soldering iron, stand, pliers, cutters. Heat mat and solder. Alpha building and testing manual and multi-meter. 180 min. I found many solder bridges and 1 of the delay unit capacitors was upside down. The second part of the delay unit still did not work until I replaced the 4098 chip.

  2. Electronic Combination Lock - create a secure lock to protect a property from intruders.

    This will improve the security of the lock greatly. * The transistor that is used to amplify the signal before it activates the relay is a BFY51 the pinout and an explanation of its functional properties are shown below. Generation Of Possible Solutions: Taking into consideration my research and the

  1. An electronics firm wishes to introduce a range of low cost alarms. You have ...

    This material is not really strong enough for an alarm case but gives a client a good impression of what it will look like. Case Case parts List The case is made from 2mm black polystyrene Part No Length in mm.

  2. Building a Sensor to Measure Weight, using a Potential Divider and Wheatstone Bridge.

    as that was the resolution of the variable resistor. This resolution accuracy was small enough to satisfy my aim and make the Wheatstone Bridge the best circuit for the sensor. Evaluation: Through the time it took me to complete my aim with several experiments, there are a couple of areas I felt could be improved.

  1. For this section of coursework I decided to undertake the task of building and ...

    0.6 18 A 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.6 18 I worked out the actual temperature by reading it of my calibration graph. I went up my vertical axes and found my voltage, then went across to the line of best fit and followed down from that to the horizontal axes where

  2. Report into Electricity Generation and Sustainable Energy

    Not only did this force harsh labouring conditions for both adults and children, but it also posed an environmental/health risk which was the release of carbon dioxide (CO2- a greenhouse gas which prevents the sun?s electromagnetic energy from reflecting back into space, thus trapping the radiation in the atmosphere and creating smog or increasing global temperature).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work