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# Teach me about Solar.

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posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 06:23 PM
Feed me knowledge as you help me understand some things about Solar power.

You can use a magnifying glass with the sun to start a fire by concentrating the light.

1-a) Could you do the opposite by flipping the magnifying glass around and "spreading out" the sunlight?
1-b) How much sunlight has to hit an average solar panel to churn out voltage consistently?

Can you funnel sunlight through a pipe, using mirrors or another method that does not require electrical input?

To the best of my knowledge, the amount of solar power collected by panels is hard capped by the area where you can put panels onto (usually roof).

Imagine if you will a small dish that collects sunlight and channels it to the elliptic mirror in the center that funnels it into a small pipe covered in reflective material. The light gets funneled through it and let out into a sphere layered with Solar panels and more reflective material to spread out evenly. Instead of covering a roof in panels you could have a collector dish funneling the sun into your basement which has containers of solar panels. You could still cover the roof in panels, this just gives you ability to collect more solar.

It is crude, but this is how my brain thinks. Tell me guys if what i am thinking of has a glimmer of real world application or if it is science fiction.

posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 07:06 PM
a reply to: Heruactic

Te closest thing I know of that remotely matches what you describe is this.

1-a) Could you do the opposite by flipping the magnifying glass around and "spreading out" the sunlight?

It would weaken the light.

1-b) How much sunlight has to hit an average solar panel to churn out voltage consistently?

There are many different kinds of solar panels for different areas of the world and different light conditions.

They have low light solar panels.

Can you funnel sunlight through a pipe, using mirrors or another method that does not require electrical input?

There are skylights that funnel light.look

posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 07:12 PM

originally posted by: Heruactic
Feed me knowledge as you help me understand some things about Solar power.

You can use a magnifying glass with the sun to start a fire by concentrating the light.

1-a) Could you do the opposite by flipping the magnifying glass around and "spreading out" the sunlight?
1-b) How much sunlight has to hit an average solar panel to churn out voltage consistently?

Can you funnel sunlight through a pipe, using mirrors or another method that does not require electrical input?

To the best of my knowledge, the amount of solar power collected by panels is hard capped by the area where you can put panels onto (usually roof).

Imagine if you will a small dish that collects sunlight and channels it to the elliptic mirror in the center that funnels it into a small pipe covered in reflective material. The light gets funneled through it and let out into a sphere layered with Solar panels and more reflective material to spread out evenly. Instead of covering a roof in panels you could have a collector dish funneling the sun into your basement which has containers of solar panels. You could still cover the roof in panels, this just gives you ability to collect more solar.

It is crude, but this is how my brain thinks. Tell me guys if what i am thinking of has a glimmer of real world application or if it is science fiction.

Some solar farm experiments use a 'funnel' through a mirror.

I'm not an expert but I do work in electricity, with houses with pitched roofs you really only have efficient on North facing roof surface, so if you had a flat roof some the panels would be set up to get mist sun.

Depending on your location, your panels (depending on your design) create more electricity than you need, so where I am, I have 20 panels, a 5kw inverter and I send electricity back to the grid.

I use electricity at night though and the electric companies sell it back to me for more that they pay me to take it so I need to use most electricity (pool pumps/heater/air con during the day.

Battery technology is improving so in a few years it might be very affordable and scale able that I can charge a small bank of batteries to feed my excess electricity back to me at night, you can do that now but I don't think the tech is right just yet for the investment.

If you were in somewhere less sunny then I am not so sure a funnel would help. In Germany where the have a lot of solar in their grid, if a cloud passes over, the solar stops so no amount of funnelling will help there.

Photovoltaic cells, look up on wiki, there is a measurement to efficiency so creating a funnel or light spread may easily be overcome by adding an extra panel rather than a complex funnel. I think it can get too hot also so your panels, no matter how much heat and sun will stil only create the maximum temp.

It's advancing too, I think America has a road with PV incorporated into it.

You could also (maybe) hook up a small wind turbine to complement your solar panels in keeping your batteries charged!

posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 07:13 PM
Solar power with traditional monocrystaline/polycrystaline silicon based panels is really inefficient, only "harvesting" approx. 5-10% of incoming photons. what you've described, piping solar radiation and focusing with mirrors is a viable option however the technologies are entirely different. for example, the panels you would put on your roof would never work in that kind of setup. monocrystaline/polycrystaline panels lose efficiency the hotter they become. however the following setup is used in conjunction with a different type of "solar cell" for increased efficiency:

solareis.anl.gov...

those mirrors focus a large area's collective solar radiation into a central point where it is refracted onto small specially made solar cells. these cells while still inefficient still produce an exponentially larger amount of power compared to traditional cells.

additionally these types of power plants also function as Archimedes death rays:

www.extremetech.com...

lol polOycrystaline
edit on 2-4-2015 by plaguewolf because: lol polOycrystaline

posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 07:21 PM
a reply to: Heruactic

By the way, short answer is yes you could, if you hds a back garden without sunlight you could use a mirror or funnel to move the light, but unless it was on a huge scale (like to soak 15 panels in sunlight) you should probably forget solar, you do need the realestate in the sun.

It maybe though, that designs of panels could get smaller. See there are ones for your car? Put a panel in the shade and hook it up to a voltmeter. Then take a mirror or one of those polished steel tubes and see how much you can move light onto them panel and how much you can charge? Might be able to run say the Xbox for free with a deep cycle battery and inverter! or mini bar fridge!

posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 07:37 PM
get a flexible polycrystaline panel, like the ones that roll up. polycrystalline panels are much more efficient than mono crystalline when in shade or under cloud cover.

something like this: www.amazon.com...=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1428020575&sr=8-2&keywords=flexible+solar+panel
these are great for throwing on a roof. also need a charge controller. dont waste your \$\$ on a PWM controller, get a MPPT one. then you need a battery bank. for solar setups its best to have deep cycle batteries, like the Trojan batteries in electric golf carts. these are pretty expensive. the jist of it is that car batteries are made to discharge a lot of current over a short period of time, and they work fine initialy however they dont like to be "deep cycled" which means running the battery down past its 20% capacitance level and the recharging it to approx. full. this type of charging destroys car batteries. and dont let the labels on those supposed deep cycle marine batteries you find at wal-mart fool you, they arent really deep cycle batteries, just a semi-hybrid.

so if you want a battery back up for like power outages then fine use a "marine deep cycle" from walmart, as they are rather cheap (relativly). but if you need a constant source of battery power for say a cabin or similar, invest in some Trojans. the car battery/marine batteries will only last about a year, two tops, if you discharge them below 50% (equivalent of ~11.3 volt) repeatedly. the trojans, conversly, will last upwards to 10 years, and can be safely discharged down to 20% or approx 10volts.

battery: www.amazon.com...=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428021136&sr=8-1&keywords=trojan+deep+cycle

mttp: charge controller: www.amazon.com...=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=mttp+charge&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Amttp+charge

also worth considering, are your panels going to be far from the battery bank? is the inverter going to be far from the battery bank? what voltage whould your bank run at? all these things can affect performance.

higher voltage battery banks have a lower current draw to the inverter, so the wires can be smaller gauge.
most trojan batteries you will get from used gold carts are 6volt, so you'd need 2 in series to make a 12volt cell, a golf cart has 6 6volt cells, so thats 3 12 batts.

when considering your cable layout, for long distances run 120volt wire, as 12 volt or 24 volt dc has significcant loss over distance.

there are alot of factors to a comprehensice solar setup.

posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 07:39 PM
if you live near warehouses look for one throwing out equipment

nearly creamed my pants when i realized these exist:

www.youtube.com...

posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 08:35 PM
To sort of get to what I think you're asking, when that sunlight arrives at your house, it has a certain number of Watts per sq meter. How many depends on a lot of factors - cloudiness, suspended aerosols, your location, the time of day, the month of the year and so on. But whatever is arriving there at that moment - that's all there is.

If you are getting 300 Watts per square meter today, that's all you get. It's not possible to spread out a square meter's sunlight and suddenly have MORE power coming in - you will still have just 300W in that meter. So, no, you can't spread out a smaller area's sunlight and still get however much power you'd like.

posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 08:37 PM
I'm in France and some of the nearby homes have solar panels on their slate roofs. Maybe 14 x 2 meter square panels, so they get around 14 kilowatts maximum (assuming 50% efficiency). But a home doesn't use 14 kilowatts all the time. The largest consumers of power are the washing machine, cooker, hot-water boiler, dish-washer, air-conditioning, kettle, toaster and electric heaters. Even then, some appliances can or are only used at night when their is low-rate energy.

So if you can use solar power to run things like heating or air-conditioning, then you can even out energy demands.

posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 04:57 AM

originally posted by: stormcell
I'm in France and some of the nearby homes have solar panels on their slate roofs. Maybe 14 x 2 meter square panels, so they get around 14 kilowatts maximum (assuming 50% efficiency). But a home doesn't use 14 kilowatts all the time. The largest consumers of power are the washing machine, cooker, hot-water boiler, dish-washer, air-conditioning, kettle, toaster and electric heaters. Even then, some appliances can or are only used at night when their is low-rate energy.

So if you can use solar power to run things like heating or air-conditioning, then you can even out energy demands.
I don't expect they get 50% efficiency.

Solar Panels

Solar panels convert sunlight directly into electricity with an efficiency of about 13%.
That number also doesn't represent what everybody gets, some more some less, but I expect that estimate is closer than 50%.

posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 05:53 AM
a reply to: Heruactic
Solar concentrators have been around for a while, but I've never seen one that funnels the light underground, but these harvest the energy by way of thermal energy- www.eia.gov...
For the most part it would be difficult and not that efficient. Perhaps with some advanced high efficiency fiber optic cable that could be possible.
Alta devices has developed a pretty efficient solar cell which achieves 30.8% efficiency, and it's flexible. - www.altadevices.com...
The company called sphelar power has also taken an interesting approach by using spherical optics right onto panel. sphelarpower.com...

posted on Apr, 5 2015 @ 04:24 PM
Thank you for the feedback. My thoughts were on having an underground solar panel setup with "funnels" getting light from the outside. This way i will not blind the birds and would not have to clean the panels. It is amazing so many different technologies exist.

posted on Apr, 5 2015 @ 11:25 PM
Solar Steam Power is gaining some steam. We actually had an impressive one built pre-WW1 but it was used for scrap in the big war.

PV panels keep getting better however to use solar, battery bank to store energy is needed and a charge controller so the panels do not cook the batteries.

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