Final post 2 Solar power to PSU

Throughout of the history of human development, selecting the superior and eliminating the inferior is inevitable. At the very beginning, human can only get the fire from the forest fires causing of the thunderclap. Then, people start to light a fire with woods. Nowadays, human are seeking to more and more efficient and environmentally friendly energy, for instance— the Solar energy. The solar energy is getting popular recently owing to its convenience and efficiency.

Compares with the traditional energy such as the coal burning energy, wind energy, and the fire energy, the solar energy is a resource that is not only sustainable for energy consumption, it is indefinitely renewable. This can be a huge advantage, because for many normal people on this planet, they are all seeking the less expensive way to get the same goal. On the other side, using the solar power, it will largely eliminate the emission of the pollution. Especially, like using the coal energy, it requires burning coals which will emit carbon dioxide, which is the major reason of the green house, and sulfur dioxide.

However, there are still some disadvantages of the solar energy. The major one is that solar power can not generate power during night. Moreover, there has an efficiency rate need to be concerned about. Normally, the solar panel have a 40% efficiency rate which means 60% of the sunlight gets wasted. During the bad weather like cloudy and foggy, the efficiency rate has high probability to decrease.

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Universities in the United States are the origin sources of knowledge, thus, a lot of scholars begin thinking that is it possible to install solar power to meet the energy demand of the whole campus. Let’s assume if Penn State University can solely depends on the solar energy. During 2005 to 2014, Penn State University Park campus would approximately use 300,000,000 Kilowatt-Hour every year. A typical solar panel would produce about 200 Watts of power during its efficient working time. Let’s assume the average daylight hours in Pennsylvania is 12 hours each day.

\(200\text{watt}\times 12\text{hour}\times 365\times\frac{1}{1000}=876\text{kilowatt-hour}\)

\(300,000,000\text{kilowatt-hour}\times\frac{1}{876\text{kilowatt-hour}}=342,466\text{panels}\)

According to this data above, we can tell that to meet the average energy demand of Penn State University Park campus based on solar power, we approximately need 342,466 solar panels. As we know that, the most common resident solar panel is 65 inches by 39 inches, and the commercial solar panel is about 77 inches by 39 inches. Based on the transformation, 79 inches equals to about 2 meters, 39 inches equals about 1 meter.

Thus,

\(2\text{m}\times 1\text{m}\times 342,466=684,932\text{m^2}\)

However, 684,932 square meter equals about 169 acres, in other words, if we want to install and lay expand all the solar panel to meet the demand of Penn State University Park campus, we have to use 169 acres of areas to install the 342,466 panels that all we need. Obviously, this is not possible.

According to the statement above, even though we can not barely depend on solar energy to satisfy all of the Penn State University Park campus’ demand, we still can install solar panels at different buildings for various needs, also, to eliminate emission of pollution.

 

Reference:

  1. Alternative energy, Solar energy, web: http://www.tc.umn.edu/~dama0023/solar.html
  2. Rinkesh, Disadvantages of Solar Energy, web: http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/Disadvantages_SolarEnergy.php
  3. Dave Llorens, how much electricity does a solar panel produce? Web: https://solarpowerrocks.com/solar-basics/how-much-electricity-does-a-solar-panel-produce/
  4. Sunshine & Daylight Hours in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA  Web: http://www.philadelphia.climatemps.com/sunlight.php
  5. Common size of solar panel, web: http://brightstarsolar.net/2014/02/common-sizes-of-solar-panels/
  6. Metric conversions, web: http://www.metric-conversions.org/length/inches-to-meters.htm
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