Concentrated Photovoltaics

Blair Unger

One of the challenges of adopting solar power as a widespread energy solution is the sheer amount of space that would be required to harness large amounts of the sun’s energy. Now, photovoltaic technology offers a means of gathering more sunlight into a smaller space.


figureSolar Power Panels, Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A.

At noon on a typical sunny day in the southwestern United States, about 1,000 watts of solar power falls from one square meter of the sky. Over the course of a year, that same spot receives roughly 3,000 kilowatt-hours of energy. As the world looks toward solar as a potential sustainable energy solution, the challenge before us is to capture as much of this energy as possible. In order to replace or offset a substantial portion of non-renewable electricity generation, vast areas of sunlight would need to be collected.

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Publish Date: 01 September 2009

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