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Nanophysics of Solar and Renewable Energy

  • ID: 2253959
  • Book
  • September 2012
  • 270 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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This easily accessible textbook provides an overview of solar to electric energy conversion, followed by a detailed look at one aspect, namely photovoltaics, including the underlying principles and fabrication methods. Professor Wolf, an experienced author and teacher, reviews such green technologies as solar–heated–steam power, hydrogen, and artificial leaf approaches, as well as nuclear fusion. The energy generation in the sun is explained and applied to terrestrial fusion reactors.

The book is self–contained so as to be suitable for students with introductory calculus–based courses in physics, chemistry, or engineering. It introduces concepts in quantum mechanics, atomic and molecular physics, plus the solid state and semiconductor junction physics needed to attain a quantitative understanding of the current status of this field. With its comments on economic aspects, it is also a useful tool for those readers interested in a career in alternative energy.

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1 A Survey of Long Term Energy Resources

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Direct Solar Influx

1.3 Secondary Solar Driven Sources

1.4 Earth–based Long–term Energy Resources

1.5 Plan of This Book

2 Physics of Nuclear Fusion: the Source of All Solar–related Energy

2.1 Protons in the sun?s core

2.2 Schrodinger?s Equation for the motion of particles

2.3 Protons and Neutrons and Their Binding

2.4 Gamow?s Tunneling Model applied to fusion in the sun?s core

2.5 A Survey of Nuclear Properties

3 Atoms, Molecules and Semiconductor Devices

3.1 Bohr?s Model of the Hydrogen Atom

3.2 Charge Motion in Periodic Potentials

3.3 Energy Bands and Gaps

3.4 Atoms, Molecules and the Covalent Bond

3.5 Tetrahedral Bonding in Silicon and Related Semiconductors

3.6 Donor and Acceptor Impurities, charge concentrations

3.7 The pn junction, diode I–V characteristic, photovoltaic cell

3.8. Metals and Plasmas

4 Terrestrial Approaches to Fusion Energy

4.1 Deuterium Fusion Demonstration Based on Field Ionization

4.2 Deuterium Fusion Demonstration Based on Muonic Hydrogen

4.3 Deuterium Fusion Demonstration in Larger–Scale Plasma Reactors

5 Introduction to Solar Energy Conversion

5.1 Sun as an Energy Source, Spectrum on Earth

5.2 Heat Engines and Thermodynamics, Carnot Efficiency

5.3 Solar Thermal Electric Power

5.4 Generations of Photovoltaic Solar Cells

5.5 Utilizing Solar Power with Photovoltaics: the rooftops of New York

5.6 Utilizing Solar Power with Photovoltaics: the possibility of space–based solar power

6 Solar Cells Based on Single pn Junctions

6.1 Single Junction Cells

6.2 Single–crystal vs. Thin–film cells, Si vs. CdTe

6.3 CuInGaSe (CIGS) Thin Film Solar Cells

6.4 Thin Film CdTe Cells

6.5 Dye–sensitized Solar Cells

6.6 Polymer Organic Solar Cells

7 Multi–Junction and Energy Concentrating Solar Cells

7.1 Tandem Cells, Premium and Low Cost

7.2 Organic Molecules as Solar Concentrators

7.3 Spectral splitting cells

7.4. Summary and Comments on efficiency

7.5 A Niche Application of concentrating cells

8 Third Generation Concepts, Survey of Efficiency

8.1 Intermediate Band Cells

8.2 Impact Ionization and Carrier Multiplication

8.3 Ferromagnetic Materials for Solar Conversion

8.4 Efficiencies: Three Generations of Cells

9 Cells for Hydrogen Generation;

Aspects of Hydrogen Storage

9.1 Efficient Photo–catalytic Dissociation of Water into Hydrogen and Oxygen

9.2 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Status

9.3 Storage and Transport of Hydrogen as a Potential Fuel

9.4 Surface Adsorption for Storing Hydrogen in High Density

9.5 Economics of Hydrogen at Present

10 Large Scale Fabrication, Learning Curves, Economics including Storage

10.1 Fabrication methods vary but have similar learning curves

10.2 Learning Strategies for Module Cost

10.3 Thin film cells, Nano–inks for Printing Solar Cells

10.4 Large–scale Scenario Based on Thin Film CdTe or CIGS Cells

10.5 Comparison of Solar Power vs. Wind Power

10.6 The Importance of Storage and Grid Management to Large Scale Utilization

10.7 Opportunities for higher efficiency in total energy use

11 Prospects for Solar and Renewable Power

11.1 Rapid Growth in Solar and Wind Power

11.2 Renewable Energy beyond Solar and Wind

11.3 The Legacy World, Developing Countries, and the Third World

11.4 Can Energy supply meet demand in the longer future?


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Edward L. Wolf
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