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Posted: May 06, 2014

'Solar Energy': A new, free multimedia report

(Nanowerk News) What is the current state of solar energy in France and around the world? What are the technologies that will drive its development? What are the obstacles involved? What are the latest scientific breakthroughs in this field?
The 20th report in the CNRS/sagascience collection focuses on solar energy and its prospects for the future, in particular at a time when the energy transition is an important topic of debate in France. Conceived for the general public, this multimedia presentation sheds light on the key challenges in the use of solar power, which has the potential to meet most of our energy needs if solutions can be developed for converting sunlight efficiently and at low cost. “Solar Energy” can be accessed online at: www.cnrs.fr/solar
solar energy
A screenshot from the presentation.
The report is divided into three parts. The first two are devoted to the two main technologies for harnessing the sun’s power:
  • Solar thermal energy, which converts sunlight into thermal energy that can be used for heating, cooling and generating electricity;
  • Photovoltaic solar energy, which uses the photoelectric effect to convert sunlight directly into electricity.
  • Following an overview of the history and development of each technology, the report discusses the solar energy research being conducted by CNRS laboratories and their latest scientific findings. The third section, entitled “Solar Energy in Figures,” is an interactive presentation of the real share of solar power in the world’s energy supply.
    The report is supplemented by three simple and informative animations that explain the functioning of:
  • A solar tower concentrating solar power plant
  • A parabolic trough power plant
  • A photovoltaic cell
  • Source: CNRS
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