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The Feasibility and Efficiency of Solar Panel Technology

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For my 9th birthday, my parents had gotten me a solar car. Now it wasn’t very large, mind you, but it was still terribly interesting in my eyes. At the time I was heavily interested in science, so such a present was very fitting. I couldn’t wait to build it. It was the late afternoon, but it was during the summer, so there was plenty of sunshine left. We got it all assembled, and we went outside in a hurried fashion. I triumphantly placed the car on the ground, and, sure enough, after a few seconds, it started to move. Needless to say, I found this an amazing feat. The car moved by itself, simply by using the sun! At that moment I thought, “Why can’t we power everything with this?” It surely seemed a rational thought then. Of course younger me didn’t really understand the logistics of the whole situation, but I wasn’t deterred nonetheless. I believe that Solar Energy is a feasible, economic and energy efficient solution for communities, rural and urban and that it can be easily understood by all. The efficiency of solar panels have improved, it is easy for homeowners to get ‘on-board’ with the technology, and the technology has already been implemented/proposed in communities. Before delving in this issue, I’d like to clarify a few terms that will be used throughout the paper. The term ‘solar energy’ is thrown around as if it were one conglomerative term, when in actuality it refers to two things. One type of solar panel creates energy by thermal energy (heat) hitting the panel, creating steam, producing power. The second of these panels take in light (specifically, solar radiation) and convert it into power. The latter of the two types will be discussed in this paper, because the first type is used primarily for heating... ... middle of paper ... ...b. 25 Oct. 2013. Moosavian, S.M. "Energy Policy to Promote Photovoltaic Generation." Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews 25 (2013): 44-58. Academic Search Premier. Web. 25 Oct. 2013. Newton, James D. Uncommon friends: life with Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Alexis Carrel & Charles Lindbergh. San Diego, Calif.: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1987. Print. "Solar & Wind Energy Calculations." Solar Power Returns| Solar Calculations. Web. 17 Nov. 2013. . Stoyke, Godo. The Carbon Buster's Home Energy Handbook: Slowing Climate Change and Saving Money. Gabriola, B.C.: New Society Publishers, 2007. Print. Yaqub, Mahdi. "Feasibility Analysis of Solar Photovoltaic Commercial Power Generation in California." Engineering Management Journal 24.4 (2012): 36-49. Academic Search Premier . Web. 24 Oct. 2013.
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