Solar Cells: one path to sustainable energy
. . . also called "photovoltaic" (PV) energy
. . . Some images:
What is the future of PV, etc.?
. . . First, the "etc.": http://blog.ted.com/2009/06/02/announcing_sing/
. . . Next, lets focus on the PV graph
. . . . . . curve fitting a straight line gives the slope
. . . . . . what is the slope? See hard copies
. . . . . . let's "Delphi it"!
Types of PV technology
. . . Example technological advance
. . . . . . Cost reduction approach: vacuum typically needed to deposit top layer of anti-reflective material, vacuum processing is expensive, spray-on technology is cheaper and under development
. . . . . . Thin film vs. regular
. . . Efficiency improvement (are these exponential?)
. . . . . . http://www.ijdesign.com/blog/Solar-Cell-Efficiency.jpg
. . . . . . http://www.allinsolars.com/images/Solar%20Cell%20Efficiency.gif
. . . . . . http://www.solarnavigator.net/images/pv_solar_module_efficiency_chart.jpg
. . . . . . http://www.tf.uni-kiel.de/matwis/amat/semi_en/kap_3/illustr/eta_development.gif
For general information on PV see: http://www.pveducation.org/pvcdrom
A major tipping point: grid parity
. . . check some graphs: see
. . . . . . image.google.com (query: grid parity)
Exercise: using a hard copy of Kurzweil's graph, figure out when PV will satisfy 100% of energy needs
. . . Assume world uses 15,000,000 (15 million) megawatts (per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_energy_resources_and_consumption)
. . . . . . Note: for simplicity, you may assume 10,000,000 if you wish
. . . Assume continued exponential growth
. . . . . . (straight line on log graph)
. . . Ok that's the mathematical result, but what do you think will really happen?
. . . . . . Why?