shouldn't we have more effective ways of harnessing solar energy now? because

Discussion in 'science, nature and environment' started by prosperity4all, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. prosperity4all

    prosperity4all Banned Banned

    shouldn't we have more effective ways of harnessing solar energy now? because

    Approximately 12000 TW (terrawatts) of energy

    reaches the Earth from the Sun.

    That is 1200000000000000 joules per minute

    More energy reaches the earth from the sun in one day

    than the whole world uses in one year.
    Ralph Llama likes this.
  2. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star


    Badgers likes this.
  3. Gromit

    Gromit International Man of Misery

    [Inserts conspiracy theories about the big energy companies suppressing the technology]
    8ball and gentlegreen like this.
  4. souljacker

    souljacker A bit of skullduggery

    Also, if we could harness all that energy to power our laptops and shit like that, the planet would get cooler and we could reverse global warming!
  5. Santino

    Santino lovelier than lovely

    Harness the sun to a massive fridge but leave the door open all the time.
  6. JimW

    JimW 支那暗杀团

    Is most of that energy bouncing off then? I thought there was a law of conservation where if it got here it would get used or converted somehow; even if we're not directly harnessing it is it not getting used in various natural processes? (genuinely no idea)
    UnderAnOpenSky likes this.
  7. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist slowtime

    make a parasol with the cloth bit made out of solar cells and build charge point for phones etc in the...haft? the pole bit. Sell it to pub gardens.
  8. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen Hand-wringing liberal.

    Only spammed to 5 forums so far ...

    I suppose it's OK to use a company name as a forum nickname ...


    A bit late in the year for a homework question ... :hmm:
    (claims to be 14 yo old on one forum)
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  9. TruXta

    TruXta tired

    The average albedo of the planet is around 0.3. So about 30% is reflected back into space.
    Badgers and JimW like this.
  10. cybershot

    cybershot Well-Known Member

    I love the smell of spam.

    What baffles me is that in all my years living on this planet we’re still using bloody AA batteries!!!
  11. maomao

    maomao 四月她爹

    Yeah but they were called HP7s back then.
  12. lazythursday

    lazythursday Well-Known Member

    But it clearly is improving. My partner runs bright lights, laptop, amplifier, fridge, telly off solar on his boat and they could barely manage to muster up a dim glow in one room ten years ago.
    ska invita, UnderAnOpenSky and Lupa like this.
  13. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

  14. moon

    moon Happy Happy Jo Wonderland

    If architects had done their jobs properly, most of those awful glass and steel buildings they like to throw up would have had solar panels integrated into the glass structure.. but hey I guess that is just blue sky thinking..
    ska invita and Lupa like this.
  15. 8ball


    If its albedo gets above 40% there'll be planetary sexytime with Mars and a whole bunch of new tiny planets.
  16. cheesethief

    cheesethief Well-Known Member

    Erm yeah, you could say that... you know all that pesky weather stuff? and the way the seas stubbornly refuse to freeze solid? That's where all the sunlight is being wasted! :thumbs:
    MickiQ and gentlegreen like this.
  17. Lupa

    Lupa Well-Known Member

    We have enough wind here to run the entire country.....
    Another storm last night...and 35000 without electricity in the West of Ireland.

    Not so much sun..:hmm:
  18. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen Hand-wringing liberal.

    How significant is the geothermal energy coming from the other direction ?
  19. cheesethief

    cheesethief Well-Known Member

    Minimal. Not insubstantial, but compared to solar energy it's pretty trivial. Interestingly though, geothermal energy saved us from the periods of snowball earth, when we had near planet wide glaciation. But not by heating the ice, the heat from the earth itself could never do that. However volcanoes punched through the ice & released large quantities of greenhouse gases which allowed more solar energy to be captured, thereby raising global temperatures enough to defrost the earth.
    maomao and gentlegreen like this.
  20. NoXion

    NoXion Keep an eye out for diamonds

    The problem with solar is that it's low-density. Even under ideal conditions (that is to say, a sunny cloudless day in Nairobi), it can only generate a kiloWatt of power per square metre, and that's before taking into account efficiency losses in converting solar to electricity, or transmission and storage losses. In the UK you'll get more along the lines of 100-110 Watts per square metre. Which means if you want to double your power output from a solar plant, your only option is to double the surface area of your solar energy collectors.
  21. Ralph Llama


    you would be very lucky to generate 1k in a meter squared !

    The price is dropping constantly while the efficiency goes up.

    I once hitched a lift from Leeds to London with an Exxon Mobil manager of some high status who had worked out on paper how to supply the worlds power from the Sahara desert using self cleaning PV panels and running DC- `pipelines` across the globe. He said his idea was ignored by his peers and the board. The tech is there. Obviously :rolleyes:
    Chilli.s and gentlegreen like this.
  22. NoXion

    NoXion Keep an eye out for diamonds

    Did he happen to mention the name of this paper? Sounds like it would be an interesting read.
  23. Ralph Llama


    Nope, .. this was about 10 years ago... I can`t even remember his name.
    I`m sure there must be similar plans out there :/
    He knew what he was talking about, he managed a large section of Exxon Mobil's infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.... all hear say I know ...
  24. kebabking

    kebabking Unfettered ambition

    Cool, so not just a spammy returner, but a wannabe groomer/nonce as well - excellent.
    Ralph Llama likes this.
  25. existentialist

    existentialist Apprentice bachelor

    I think we should be careful not to jump to too many conclusions. Let's just call him a spamming cunt, and be done with it. :D
    gentlegreen and NoXion like this.
  26. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    Sounds like Desertec Desertec - Wikipedia
    Ralph Llama and NoXion like this.
  27. NoXion

    NoXion Keep an eye out for diamonds

    Heard of that before. Seems that the obstacles to this being successful are more political than technological. I mean, it's already problematic for countries to be relying on oil from that part of the world. I'm not sure that effectively locking such a situation into stone by changing from oil (which generates greenhouse gases and at the very least will eventually run out) to solar power would be a good idea in the current geopolitical circumstances. The Saudis are already looking into becoming the world's prime solar energy exporters. Personally I would rather such regimes not have a permanently available means of blackmailing others. "Don't criticise our treatment of women or executing people for blasphemy, unless you want the lights to go out!".
    Ralph Llama likes this.
  28. Ralph Llama


    That is exactly the kind of thing this Exxon Mobil executive was talking about and told to stop peddling within the Corporation. His main focus with the plan was long term profit margins, something that seems to be gradually trickling into the minds in the corporate board rooms atm.

    Anyway as NoXion said, the obstacles are political, so something to bear in mind until we achieve world peace, which I can imagine could only possibly be achieved by everybody having one common enemy... our species`s annihilation. I am an optimist :rolleyes:

    Yer... pity this thread was started by some shady fucker/spam

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