Related topics: energy · solar panels · solar cells · solar energy · megawatts

Going nuclear on the moon and Mars

It might sound like science fiction, but scientists are preparing to build colonies on the moon and, eventually, Mars. With NASA planning its next human mission to the moon in 2024, researchers are looking for options to ...

First test of solar power satellite hardware in orbit

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory engineers launched PRAM, the Photovoltaic Radio-frequency Antenna Module, aboard an Air Force X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle on May 17 as part of a comprehensive investigation into prospective terrestrial ...

Laser-powered rover to explore moon's dark shadows

A laser light shone through the dark could power robotic exploration of the most tantalizing locations in our solar system: the permanently-shadowed craters around the moon's poles, believed to be rich in water ice and other ...

Pentagon announces new mission for secretive space drone

The US Air Force said Wednesday it would be sending its high-tech X-37B space drone back into orbit this month—the sixth trip for the reusable vehicle that maneuvers around the Earth on secretive missions.

Molecular tweak improves organic solar cell performance

A molecular tweak has improved organic solar cell performance, bringing us closer to cheaper, efficient, and more easily manufactured photovoltaics. The new design approach, targeting the molecular backbone of the cell's ...

New type of indoor solar cells for smart connected devices

In a future where most things in our everyday life are connected through the internet, devices and sensors will need to run without wires or batteries. In a new article in Chemical Science, researchers from Uppsala University ...

What to expect when you're expecting electric transportation

While electric vehicles alone may not reduce carbon emissions, a new study reveals that when electric vehicles are powered with renewable energy and coupled with carbon policy strategies, they can help combat climate change ...

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Solar power

Solar power is the result of converting sunlight into electricity. Sunlight can be converted directly into electricity using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly with concentrating solar power (CSP), which normally focuses the sun's energy to boil water which is then used to provide power. The largest solar power plants, like the 354 MW SEGS, are concentrating solar thermal plants, but recently multi-megawatt photovoltaic plants have been built. Completed in 2008, the 46 MW Moura photovoltaic power station in Portugal and the 40 MW Waldpolenz Solar Park in Germany are characteristic of the trend toward larger photovoltaic power stations. Much larger ones are proposed, such as the 550 MW Topaz Solar Farm, and the 600 MW Rancho Cielo Solar Farm.

Solar power is a predictably intermittent energy source, meaning that whilst solar power is not available at all times, we can predict with a very good degree of accuracy when it will and will not be available. Some technologies, such as solar thermal concentrators with an element of thermal storage, have the potential to eliminate the intermittency of solar power, by storing spare solar power in the form of heat; and using this heat overnight or during periods that solar power is not available to produce electricity. This technology has the potential to make solar power "dispatchable", as the heat source can be used to generate electricity at will. Solar power installations are normally supplemented by storage or another energy source, for example with wind power and hydropower.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA