Solar Power Generation

Solar energy is the most abundant, renewable energy source in the world. Solar energy systems refer to technologies that convert the sun's heat or light to another form of energy for use.

Solar power generation technologies are important for providing a major share of the clean and renewable energy needed in the future, because they are the cost-effective among renewable power generation technologies. Solar power generation becomes sustainable and competitive with fossil-fuel power generation within the next decade. Solar power generation has proven to be one most attractive option for electrical energy production in grid-connected and distributed modes. The solar power generation can be done both by photovoltaic and concentrating solar power systems. The PV technologies such as single and multicrystalline, thin film cells, organic/inorganic dye-sensitized, and multijunction solar cells have seen an increasing trend for their utilities as backup energy generation systems for small-scale and rooftop applications. The CSP technologies such as solar dish, parabolic trough, linear Fresnel reflectors, and power tower are gaining momentum for large-scale solar power generation using power cycles/engines. This special issue on solar power generation is focused mainly various technologies, materials, and control strategies for effective solar energy conversion, energy storage, control, and implementation approaches.

Solar technology has also emerged for the clean and renewable production of hydrogen as an alternative energy source. Mimicking the process of photosynthesis, artificial leaves are silicon-based devices that use solar energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, leaving virtually no pollutants.