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This book provides a detailed and insightful examination of both current and emerging solar technologies, describing their properties, and evaluating the practical and technological potential for each. You'll gain a clearer understanding of the logistics of deploying solar energy as a viable and sustainable way to solve urgent energy, environmental, and socioeconomic problems. Discussed in detail are solar power generation, solar thermal, silicon PV, thin PV, 3D solar cells, nano-PV, organic solar cells, and more. Among the many topics examined are solar successes and failures, solar power fields, finance and regulations, solar markets, and solar energy's environmental impact. The book serves as both a guidebook for beginners as well as an outline for the debates on solar power technologies, their issues and their proper use by specialists.

ISBN: 0-88173-697-X
8½ x 11, Illus., 713 pp. Hardcover


Chapter 1. Solar Energy
Solar power generation basics
Sunlight basics and key concepts
Solar energy availability and use
Solar cells and modules

Chapter 2. Today's Solar Technologies
Solar thermal and thermoelectric power
Today's PV technologies
Silicon based solar materials, cells and modules
Solar cells
c-Si PV modules
Thin film technologies
The major thin film technologies
Concentrating PV technology
Hybrid technologies
New and developing solar technologies

Chapter 3. Most Promising Solar Technologies
Solar thermal technologies
Photovoltaic technologies
Silicon PV technologies
Thin film PV technologies
Promising technologies
CPV and HCPV technologies
Achievements of PV technologies
Most promising materials
Hydrogen generation
Energy Storage

Chapter 4. Exotic Solar Technologies
CPV technologies
Excitonic PV technology
Hybrid solar cells
Nano-PV technology
Quantum particles PV technology
Plasmonic PV technology
Organic technology
Hybrid solar technologies
New PV materials
New PV technologies

Chapter 5. Solar Successes and Failures
The U.S. solar energy (r)evolution
Great business successes
Successful solar companies
Successful solar projects
Other energy projects
Successful initiatives
Failed renewable energy companies, 2007-2012
Failed renewable energy projects, 2007-2012
Failed thin film solar companies
Performance characteristics
Safety issues
Field operation issues
Field test results
Case study

Chapter 6. Solar Power Fields
Solar thermal technologies
PV technologies
PV modules certification
Lab tests of PV modules
c-Si modules detailed failure analysis
CPV and HCPV technologies
Test results
Equipment and process standardization
PV installations, setup and performance
Large-scale solar power fields
The planning phase
The design phase
The installation phase
Operation and maintenance phase
Operational considerations, tasks & issues
Power field performance
Solar power fields in the 21st century

Chapter 7. Solar's Importance, Finance, and Regulations
Financial considerations
Economic evaluation of renewable
energy technologies
Practical examples
Operational risks
Performance insurance
Long-term field tests
Solar industry standardization
External impact and cost
Lifetime energy balance
Investment and finance
The U.S. investment and finance
World investment and finance
Political considerations
Regulatory procedures

Chapter 8. The Solar Markets in the 21st century
Renewable energy in the U.S.
the U.S. solar market, 2010-2011
The state (solar country) of California
The U.S. PV industry
U.S. PV markets
Addressing trade issues
Political evolution
LCOE or not LCOE?
The world
Technologies of the 21st century
PV manufacturers' future
Niche and specialty energy markets in the 21st century
The 21st century direction

Chapter 9. Energy Generation and the Environment In the 21st Century
Environmental considerations
A brief overview of U.S. environmental legislation
Present-day environmental status report
Energy generation and the environment
Conventional energy generators
Renewable, green and safe?
Environmental impact of solar installations
Environmental challenges


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