1st Edition

Solar Energy Renewable Energy and the Environment

By Robert Foster, Majid Ghassemi, Alma Cota Copyright 2010
    380 Pages 186 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Drawing on the authors’ extensive research and project implementation around the globe, Solar Energy: Renewable Energy and the Environment covers solar energy resources, thermal and photovoltaic systems, and the economics involved in using solar energy. It provides background theory on solar energy as well as useful technical information for implementing solar energy applications.

    The book details the strengths, weaknesses, and applications of solar power generation technologies. It discusses the design and implementation of often-overlooked solar technologies, such as solar water pumping, distillation, detoxification, refrigeration, and village power. The text also examines photovoltaic power and how it is best suited for remote-site applications with small to moderate power requirements. Examples, real-world case studies, and lessons learned from technical failures illustrate how to best implement solar energy projects.

    The time for clean energy solutions is here. Only through energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies can modern civilization extricate itself from the gathering "perfect energy storm." Focusing on one of the keys to lessen the potentially harmful impacts of the storm, this book discusses how to increase energy production from a clean energy source—the sun.

    Introduction to Solar Energy

    The Twenty-First Century’s Perfect Energy Storm

    Renewable Energy for Rural Development

    Renewable Energy Solutions

    Global Solar Resource


    Solar Resources


    Sun–Earth Geometric Relationship

    Equation of Time

    Structure of the Sun

    Electromagnetic Radiation

    Solar Spectral Distribution

    Solar Constant

    Extraterrestrial Solar Radiation

    Terrestrial Solar Radiation

    Measurement of Terrestrial Solar Radiation

    Terrestrial Insolation on Tilted Collectors



    Fundamentals of Engineering: Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer


    Conduction Heat Transfer

    One-Dimensional Conduction Heat Transfer in a Rectangular Coordinate

    Thermal Resistance Circuits

    One-Dimensional Conduction Heat Transfer in a Cylindrical Coordinate

    Convection Heat Transfer

    Radiation Heat Transfer

    Introduction to Thermodynamics


    Solar Thermal Systems and Applications


    Solar Collectors

    Tracking Systems

    Solar Thermal Systems


    Photovoltaic Cells by Jeanette Moore


    Crystal Structure

    Cell Physics

    Energy Bands

    More about Electrons and Their Energy

    Electrons and Holes

    Direct and Indirect Band-Gap Materials



    Generation and Recombination

    The p–n Junction

    Solar Cell Equations



    Current Research

    Cell Applications



    Photovoltaic Conversion Systems

    Solar Benefits

    Basic Module Electrical Concepts

    PV Arrays

    PV Array Tilt

    PV Balance of Systems

    PV System Utility

    PV System Safety

    PV System Testing Rules



    Photovoltaic System Sizing and Design


    Solar Resource Sizing Considerations

    Solar Trajectory

    Solar Energy System Sizing Considerations

    Solar Energy System Sizing

    Solar Water Pumping System Sizing

    Generic Water Pump Sizing Methodology

    Electrical Codes for PV System Design

    Stand-Alone PV Lighting Design Example



    Photovoltaic Applications


    Grid-Tied PV

    Japanese PV Development and Applications

    Future Japanese Trends

    Stand-Alone PV Applications

    PV for Schools

    PV for Protected Areas

    PV Water-Pumping

    Grounding and Lightning Protection for Solar Water Pumps

    Solar Tracking for Solar Water Pumps

    Operation and Maintenance of the Systems

    The PV Array

    PV Water-Pumping Results


    Economics by Vaughn Nelson

    Solar Energy Is Free, but What Does It Cost?

    Economic Feasibility

    Economic Factors

    Economic Analysis

    Life Cycle Cost

    Present Value and Levelized Costs

    Annualized Cost of Energy


    Solar Irrigation Case Study

    Water Pumping Example



    Institutional Issues



    Institutional Considerations


    Program Implementation

    Institutional Models for Solar Energy Dissemination

    Management and Ownership

    Tariffs and Payment

    Other Critical Issues



    Energy Storage


    Batteries in PV Systems

    Lead-Acid Battery Construction

    Lead-Acid Battery Operation

    Lead-Acid Battery Characteristics

    Battery Problem Areas

    Battery Maintenance

    Battery Safety Precautions

    Determination of Battery Failure

    Battery Selection Criteria

    Charge Controller Terminology

    Charge Controller Algorithms

    Charge Controller Selection Criteria



    Solar Energy Glossary

    Appendix A: Global Insolation at Latitude Tilt for Select Cities

    Appendix B: Friction Loss Factors

    Appendix C: Present Value Factors



    Robert Foster is a program manager in the College of Engineering at the Southwest Region Solar Experiment Station and the Institute for Energy and the Environment at New Mexico State University. He is currently on assignment in Kabul as the deputy chief of party for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Afghanistan Water, Agriculture, and Technology Transfer Program.

    Majid Ghassemi is a visiting research scientist in the Institute for Engineering Research and Applications at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NM Tech), where he is currently conducting research on energy-efficient wall panels for the U.S. Department of Energy.

    Alma Cota is a chemistry professor and solar researcher at the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez. She previously worked as a photovoltaic research assistant in the Southwest Region Solar Experiment Station at New Mexico State University.