Solar Energy and Associated Problems Research Paper

Solar Energy and Associated Problems
This paper takes a historical look at the disadvantages and problems associated with solar energy.
# 116879 | 1,256 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2009 | US
Published on Oct 28, 2009 in Environmental Studies (General) , Physics (General)

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This paper examines the difficulties of converting solar energy to useful energy that people can use. The paper begins by discussing the costliness of the process of converting solar energy and then discusses how vast amounts of space are necessary to collect sunlight. The paper also examines the different materials and technology necessary to make the conversion, which are also costly. Lastly the paper addresses the issue of getting people to adjust their lifestyles to accommodate the more energy efficient, solar powered appliances.

From the Paper:

"Scientists at General Motors in 1949 were working on ways to turn plant energy into force that could run cars. They wanted to turn solar power into horsepower. The bomb at Hiroshima had been dropped and compared to the research on atomic powered cars, solar energy was much safer and did not require shielding car passengers from the same types of radiation. The scientists estimated that a radiation shield would weigh twenty-five tons, so energy from plants seemed a worthwhile area to investigate. John Campbell, chief of the organic chemistry department at General Motors explained, 'In a single day the average amount of solar energy falling on one acre of ground in the temperate zone is equivalent to 700 gallons of gasoline, or enough to operate the average automobile for a year.' Plants do not absorb much of the solar energy that reaches the earth. Campbell mentions, 'in performing the miracle of photosynthesis, green plants generally absorb less than 1 per cent of the solar energy which strikes their leaves.' C.F. Kettering, also a scientist at General Motors, was working on ways to harness solar energy. Kettering concern was that 'in order to produce significant mechanical power from solar energy, we are going to have to devise greatly improved means of converting solar energy into useful power.'"

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Allin, Craig W. "Alternative Fuels." Encyclopedia of Environmental Issues 12 Dec. 1999. Print.
  • Coyne, Mark S. and Allin, Craig W. "Energy economics." Natural Resources. 1 April 1998. Print.
  • Coyne, Mark S. and Allin, Craig W. "Solar Energy." Natural Resources. 1 April 1998. Print.
  • Luntz, Stephen, "Smoke and mirrors for solar generator." Australasian Science 1 Oct. 2000. Print.
  • Johnson, R Colin, "Here Comes The Sun." Electronic Engineering Times 29 May 2006. Print.

Cite this Research Paper:

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