Energy and Climate

Photovoltaics
(PV)

Photovoltaics (PV) is a method of generating electrical power by converting solar light into electricity. Sandia photovoltaic work is centered on developing cost-effective, reliable photovoltaic energy systems produced by US industry and used worldwide.
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Concentrating Solar Power
(CSP)

Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) uses mirrors to concentrate a large area of sunlight, onto a small area. Electrical power is produced when the concentrated light is converted to heat which drives a generator.

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Sunshine to Petrol
(S2P)

Sunshine to Petrol Solar Furnace

The Sunshine to Petrol (S2P) program seeks to create a sustainable liquid fuels solution that can replace petrolium-based fuels on a large scale. Work currently centers on the production of synthetic fuels from carbon dioxide using solar energy.
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Photovoltaics

On average, about one and a half hours of the sunlight that falls on Earth could supply humanity with enough energy to meet all the world’s needs for an entire year. Harnessing even a fraction of this energy could supply humanity with abundant energy to live, move about, and thrive industrially and economically well into the foreseeable future. Sandia is working hard to help make this dream a reality.

Typically, solar energy is harnessed in one of two ways: photovoltaics (PV) use specially selected and fabricated materials that use the sun’s energy to liberate bound electrons in the material which are then captured and channeled to produce electric current—on the other hand, concentrating solar power (CSP) uses mirrors or lenses to focus a broad field of solar energy onto a smaller receiver. The concentrated thermal energy is then used to drive some form of heat engine that produces either electricity or mechanical work.

Concentrating Solar Power (CSP)

In virtually all applications CSP is large power, on the order of 100 MW or larger, that is used by utilities to generate electricity and distribute to consumers. In a CSP plant, solar energy is converted to heat and the heat is used in a conventional power cycle or other heat engine to produce mechanical power and drive a generator.

Sunshine to Petrol (S2P)

Sunshine to Petrol Solar Furnace

Sandia’s Sunshine to Petrol (S2P) team seeks to address the critical national and global issues of growing energy consumption amid increased vulnerability and price volatility of petroleum supplies and climate change risks. The transportation and industrial sectors in the United States are deeply dependent on petroleum, a dominant energy source for these sectors and a driver of greenhouse gas emissions. An alternative energy carrier coupled to a sustainable energy source that can be used within existing infrastructure, distribution, and traditional petroleum-based combustion systems is necessary to assure national security, enhance U.S. economic competitiveness, demonstrate leadership in mitigating the risks of climate change, and promote a smooth transition to an energy-secure and diversified transportation mix.

Solar Publications

Second Annual Electric Power Research Institute/Sandia Photovoltaic Systems SymposiumSandia and Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) are delighted to host the second joint symposium on technical issues related to photovoltaic (PV) systems and related technologies. This year, the symposium will cover three areas: PV performance modeling; screening methods, distribution PV host­ing capacity, and advanced inverter modeling; and PV system reliability and maintenance strategies. Sandians […]
PV Value® Tool Featured at Washington D.C. RoundtableGeoff Klise (in Sandia’s Earth Systems Analysis Dept.) attended the 2014 Green Mortgage Appraisal Roundtable, hosted by the Federal Housing Administration–Single Family Housing Office of Economic Resilience and the Executive Office of the President on March 11, 2014. The PV Value® tool, co-developed by Sandia and Energy Sense Finance, was presented as a successful application […]
Solar Glare Hazard Analysis Tool Available for DownloadSandia developed the Solar Glare Hazard Analysis Tool (SGHAT), a web-based tool that predicts energy production and the potential for solar glare and ocular impacts from an array of photovoltaic (PV) panels. SGHAT uses an interactive Google Maps interface together with a few user-specified parameters such as orientation and tilt of the PV panels to […]

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