Is Solar Energy More Economical?

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Introduction of your Grand Challenge Our challenge topic is to make solar energy more economical. By doing so we need to make solar energy more efficient. Although the sun provides a lot of energy, we are currently only able to efficiently convert 10 to 20 percent of it into electricity. This topic is very challenging because costs of electricity that is provided by solar energy is around 3 to 6 times more expensive than the current prices of electricity. Storage is another problem that we face because it 's rather hard to storage solar energy, unlike storing other sources of energy like heat. This challenge exists because fossil fuel produces toxic waste such as carbon dioxide which pollutes the climate we live in. Fossil fuel which is our main source of energy will one day run out and we will need solar energy to replace it. Solar energy produces no waste, and with no harmful leftover. “Solar energy is radiant light and heat from the Sun that is harnessed using a range of ever-evolving technologies such as solar heating, photovoltaic, solar thermal energy, solar architecture and artificial photosynthesis” (Solar Energy Perspective). Our designs will focus on how to make solar energy more efficient and also focus on how we can make it more economical for the public the buy. Grand challenge status The team in MIT developed a way to store the heat being produced during photoelectric effect using an absorber-emitter device which has an array of multi-walled carbon nanotubes and silicon/silicon dioxide photonic crystals. This absorber, the outer part of the panel, turns the solar energy into heat and stores it. Then the emitter, the inner part of the panel, takes the stored heat and converts it back into light which is then capt... ... middle of paper ... ... the ways in which to extract the excess heat being exhumed by the solar panels, specifically from the silicon part. By directing this heat through pipes, we are able to heat water source that can rotate a turbine in addition to other energy sources being used to vaporize the water. From Design 3, the application of solar panels being transparent black means more can be used in many more places than currently used. This makes it more accessible. These transparent black solar panels can be placed ranging from homes to schools, factories to stadiums, and skyscrapers to cars. By increasing the surface area of exposure to the solar panels, we are able to increase productivity and efficiency. From design 4 we are taking the idea of the solar panels from the roof and adding it to what we took from design 3 and 1, which together becomes our final product.
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