As solar energy becomes increasingly more important in all of our lives, it is more important to learn how it works and how it can be implemented. This book is the perfect primer for the engineer, scientist, and layperson alike, for learning about the practical applications of solar energy technology and how it is being used today to heat homes, light city streets, and provide power worldwide.
Michael Grupp obtained his PhD in nuclear solid-state physics at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. In 1977, he set up an independent energy research unit called Synopsis in southern France, undertook innovative solar energy R&D, and soon broadened his scope to applications for less developed countries. He has proposed and coordinated projects in Europe, Africa, and India concerning technical, production, market, and acceptance aspects, as well as their methodological implications. Dr. Grupp has received a European Solar Prize in 2004 and serves on several scientific committees and editorial boards. Married with four children, Michael Grupp was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in the early '90s.
Summary ix About this book xi Terminology xiii Introduction: Solar Energy xv The Incoming Solar Radiation 1 The Availability and Power Density Issue - Fossil vs. Solar Energy 3 The Need for Tracking 4 The Basic Solar Energy Heat Transfers 7 Heat Transfer - Experiment and Simulation 8 Solar Energy Heat Transfer Modes 18 Individual Transfers 18 Compound or Grouped Heat Transfer (CHT) 28 Heat Capacity: Phase Change Materials (PCM), Heat Storage and Thermal Mass 31 Overall Heat Transfer 35 Solar Thermal Energy Product Requirements 43 Selected Solar Thermal Applications 47 Solar Water Heaters (SWH) 47 Solar Space Heating 52 Direct Gain 53 Windows and Glazings in Solar Space Heating 53 Active and Passive Solar Energy 56 Passive Solar Heating and Overheating 58 Purely Active Solar Heating 62 Large-Scale Glazed Solar Thermal Plants 63 Solar High Temperature Applications 70 Solar Tower Central Receiver Plants 70 Trough Plants 72 Dish Stirling 72 Solar Chimney Power Plants (CSP) 73 Solar Thermal Pumps 77 Divers Applications 77 Cookers 78 Domestic Solar Cookers 78 Institutional Solar Cookers 81 Autoclave Sterilizers 84 Direct UV Pasteurizers 87 Solar Driers 88 Solar Thermal Energy - The Software 92 Impacts 92 The Market 93 The Determination of Solar Food Mass and Cooking Time 95 Solar PV 101 PV - Basic Characteristics 101 Shading 102 The Temperature Effect 103 Electricity and Grids 103 PV Applications 105 Solar Air Planes 108 Solar Boats 109 Dedicated Power Supplies 112 Plug Power Supplies 112 PV Power Plants 113 Conclusions Beyond Solar 117 Case Studies 118 Solar Energy in a High-density Urban Environment 118 Solar Casbah : Low-Cost Solar Energy Vision 119 An Up-market, High-Tech Vision 123 Solar Thermal vs. Solar PV: The Battle of the Water Heaters 124 The Evolving Grid: 125 Remarks on Energy Planning 126 Solar for Existing Settlements 127