Rural Electric Overview Rural electric cooperatives RECs are consumer-owned utilities that were established to provide reliable and affordable electricity by purchasing electric power at wholesale and delivering it directly to the consumer. These distribution cooperatives are primarily located in rural areas where the return on expensive infrastructure investment was not high enough to attract the investor-owned utilities IOUs.
Long distance transmission allows remote renewable energy resources to displace fossil fuel consumption. Solar power plants use one of two technologies: Photovoltaic PV systems use solar panelseither on rooftops or in ground-mounted solar farmsconverting sunlight directly into electric power.
Concentrated solar power CSP, also known as "concentrated solar thermal" plants use solar thermal energy to make steam, that is thereafter converted into electricity by a turbine.
Photovoltaics Schematics of a grid-connected residential PV power system  A solar cellor photovoltaic cell PVis a device that converts light into electric current using the photovoltaic effect.
The first solar cell was constructed by Charles Fritts in the s. For practical use this usually requires conversion to certain desired voltages or alternating current ACthrough the use of inverters.
In certain applications such as satellites, lighthouses, or in developing countries, batteries or additional power generators are often added as back-ups. Such stand-alone power systems permit operations at night and at other times of limited sunlight.
Concentrated solar power Main article: Concentrated solar power A parabolic collector concentrates sunlight onto a tube in its focal point. Concentrated solar power CSPalso called "concentrated solar thermal", uses lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to concentrate sunlight, then use the resulting heat to generate electricity from conventional steam-driven turbines.
A wide range of concentrating technologies exists: Various techniques are used to track the sun and focus light. In all of these systems a working fluid is heated by the concentrated sunlight, and is then used for power generation or energy storage. The receiver is a tube positioned along the focal points of the linear parabolic mirror and is filled with a working fluid.
The reflector is made to follow the sun during daylight hours by tracking along a single axis. Parabolic trough systems provide the best land-use factor of any solar technology.
This has the advantage that flat mirrors can be used which are much cheaper than parabolic mirrors, and that more reflectors can be placed in the same amount of space, allowing more of the available sunlight to be used.
Concentrating linear fresnel reflectors can be used in either large or more compact plants. The advantages of Stirling solar over photovoltaic cells are higher efficiency of converting sunlight into electricity and longer lifetime.
Parabolic dish systems give the highest efficiency among CSP technologies.
Power towers can achieve higher thermal-to-electricity conversion efficiency than linear tracking CSP schemes and better energy storage capability than dish stirling technologies. Hybrid systems A hybrid system combines C PV and CSP with one another or with other forms of generation such as diesel, wind and biogas.
The combined form of generation may enable the system to modulate power output as a function of demand or at least reduce the fluctuating nature of solar power and the consumption of non renewable fuel.
Hybrid systems are most often found on islands. Another example is the Yazd power station in Iran.Pakistan is in the midst of one of the worst energy crises in its history. This is both slowing the pace of economic activity and causing public unrest with prolonged outages of electricity and gas.
In general, energy conservation reduces the energy consumption and energy demand per capita. This reduces the rise in energy costs, and can reduce the need for new power plants, and energy imports.
The reduced energy demand can provide more flexibility in choosing the methods of energy production. Before people had electricity in their homes, the alternating current–producing motor constructed by Tesla supplied 90 percent of the electricity used by manufacturing.
The Linotype machine. Electricity Through the Years Go back in time and meet a few of the people who made important discoveries in the history of electricity.
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