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A Truth Undelivered Essay

1445 words - 6 pages

Global warming is indisputably one of the most influential problems of current society1; however certain measures can be taken to prevent further damage to our planet, such as the use of photovoltaic technology2. A major contributing factor to the increasing global pollution is the release of potent, harmful chemicals as by-products of conventional energy production.3 Many of these chemicals are released by use of nonrenewable energy sources and have long-term negative global effects.4 However, there are many renewable energy sources that are widely available5, exhibit almost no bad effects6, and cause absolutely no disastrous results7. These sources, such as solar energy, are not as ...view middle of the document...

Many countries, such as Greece and Turkey, already benefit from solar energy; more than 50% of houses in these countries use solar collection systems for heating water and other various uses.15 It is widely speculated that investing in solar-capturing devices would plummet national economy because of the cost of suitable technology. However, economy would greatly benefit; energy costs would fall greatly because of the massive, steady supply of energy. This would lead to the increase of the spending limit for the common household, which would then increase production sales.16 The world will slowly revert to its normal, healthy climate and continue to provide for life.17 Global temperature would remain stable and climate would continue to provide for life, for solar energy does not pollute. The technologies needed to acquire such a massive source of energy are not quite accessible, however scientists have made a great effort since the 1950’s to develop solar energy-capturing machines.
This process has since developed, introducing newer types of solar-capturing devices, such as solar thermal collectors and photovoltaic cells.18 There are two methods of capturing solar energy: indirect conversion and direct conversion. Indirect conversion includes using the sun to heat water, houses, or heat engines. Direct conversion includes photochemical, thermoelectric, and photovoltaic cells; however the most popular direct conversion device is the photovoltaic cell.
United States space satellites first utilized photovoltaic technology to acquire energy.19 Photovoltaic means the ability to capture energy and generate electricity from photons, or the particles of light energy, in order to harness the sun’s vastly renewable energy.20 The photovoltaic effect was first observed by Edmund Becquerel in 1839 at the age of nineteen when experimenting with two metal electrodes. He noticed that when in light, certain metals conduct a small current, in which he then concluded that electrons absorb photons to be able to escape the atoms they are attached to.
Photovoltaic (PV) cells, or solar cells, absorb sun through material comprised of mostly silicon, a semi conductive material that is third most common in the Earth’s crust21, and some of other conductive metals22. These cells are arranged (usually 36 rows23) into “modules” which thousands more comprise “arrays”.24 While only 1 cell produces about 1-2 watts, modules can produce up to 2,592 watts.25 The average American home consumes, if following conserving guidelines, about 40,000 watts.26 This means that if plugs were unplugged when not in use and electricity is used sparingly, a household could sustain itself with no electricity bill if it is equipped with an adequate solar panel system. However, solar panels are a bit pricey.
For every watt desired, an investment of about $10 must be made.27 This means in order to have a 40,000 watt solar panel system, $400,000 is required....

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