Your Questions About Solar Power

Sharon asks…

What country should use solar power or has the ability to use a lot of solar power but….?

Doesnt?

I am doing a project and I would like to market solar power panels to a country that would benefit from solar power but doesnt nessecarily utilize there ability to capture the sun

Any Help?

ssadmin answers:

Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Libya, Morroco, in fact most of Africa, Australia………..

..

Maria asks…

How can I set my house up for total solar power?

I am looking to find out how to go about setting my house up for total solar power? I live in the South so sun isn't a big problem for us. I'd really rather be using a sustainable product than keep letting the electric company keep charging me for THEIR gas usage. Exspecially when I see their trucks running all over town to run their daily errands instead of working.

ssadmin answers:

You really cant, it would take large ammounts of space and thousands of dollars in solar panels to even come close to a fraction of what a house uses. Also solar panels create DC power which would have to be converted to AC in a dynamo or inverter… And there is always losses do resistance etc.

Also solar panels don't last forever, they have to be replaced every few years depending on the quality so in the end it's cheaper to stay with your local utility provider….no I don't work for one…

Lisa asks…

Why is solar power not used everywhere as it is the cheapest in the world?

what are the problems of solar power as we keep talking about solar but not using it?

Everywhere people talk about solar but not used much why?
Everywhere = only sunny place.
and not all the part of the world.

ssadmin answers:

In some places, the electric companies charge a very low rate, and it is more economical to simply use that rather than invest large sums up front.

In other areas, it would be more economical in the long run to use solar panels, but in this economy, companies simply don't have the capital to invest.

As a homeowner, would you rather pay $10,000-20,000 up front for solar energy, or would you rather pay $80/month??

Susan asks…

Does solar power have anything to do with physics?

Im doing a 3 minute speech tomorrow for physics and ive left it to the last minute and my question is “Is solar power really worth the money?”
I am planning to just go on about stuff like how long it will take for solar panels to pay themselves off with the money I save and stuff about returning to the grid…..
Do this really have anything to do with physics? PLEASE HELP

ssadmin answers:

Everything has to do with physics at some level.

Solar panels produce energy. They use energy from the sun ( light) and convert it to a flow of electrons ( electricity). The question about “is it worth the money” unfortunately is not a question of physics, it's a financial question. I suppose you could try and compare the energy that goes into producing the solar cell with the energy that the cell is expected to produce. If you can accurately compare those two energies then you might have some physics data for your question but that information would be very hard to quantify.

Joseph asks…

What do I need in the way of solar panels, etc. to power a 1 horsepower DC motor at 12 volts?

I am looking to power a small air compressor with solar panels, but am not savvy when it comes to solar power.
For example, if I use a 12V DC motor, surely I shouldn't need an invertor (I think?).
Also, I don't know what the amperage/voltage rating is on a panel.
I was thinking I might need 12 volts at about 800 Watts, but need someone to point me in the right direction.

ssadmin answers:

Well, 1 HP is 750 Watts but a DC motor is typically 90% efficient though there are some as efficient as 95%. Also it's customary to design electrical circuits to operate at 80% load therefore you would want about 1,041 Watts to run it directly from the solar panels during Sunshine hours.

Perhaps you should look at the duty cycle of the compressor to try and decide if banking the power on batteries would be sufficient. Problem there is that lead acid batteries are only 50% efficient at charging and have a 1% per day loss rate, still if your motor only ran for an hour a day and you had 8 hours of usable sunshine per day the you may be able to get by with a 260 Watt panel and maybe three 60 AH batteries.

Maybe you should hook up a power meter and measure what you're actually using both in peak watts and in cumulative watt hours during the day. Note you'll need a higher voltage to charge the batteries, a float charge would be 13.5 V, a bulk charge would be about 14.4 V. You'll need a charge controller with batteries and a voltage regulator without batteries. Fairly simple devices that an Engineering student could sketch out with a few power transistors

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