Meteorological factors affecting solar radiation efficiency - applications to the tropics

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Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Exhibit Hall B2 (GWCC)
Paul Ruscher, Florida State Univ., Tallahassee, FL

Solar systems are being deployed in many remote areas to power cellular telephone towers, wells, and small household power systems. Yet there are many factors that limit solar radiation efficiency. In spite of new gains in photovoltaic technology, deployed systems are sometimes inadequate for the need, suggesting hybrid systems might make more sense, or perhaps a need to upsize the solar system.

We take a particular focus here on the Caribbean Basin and deployment of solar systems in a moist tropical atmosphere, and cover the atmospheric limiting factors as well as data sources that engineers and applied scientists might consider using to help them properly estimate solar energy efficiency.