Document Overview

The five main chapters of this document correspond to five categories of renewable electricity-generating technologies -- biomass, geothermal, photovoltaics, solar thermal, and wind. Each of these five chapters has an Overview tha t discusses key development and deployment issues for that technology category. Each chapter has one or mor e Technology Characterizations (TCs); e.g., there are TCs for hydrothermal and hot dry rock systems within the geothermal technology category. Each TC was prepared in the format outlined in Figure 2. In addition, energy storage is characterized in an appendix that follows the same format.

Chapter 7 provides a discussion of financial analysis techniques. The chapter also provides estimates of levelized cost of energy using these techniques.

Technology Characterization Outline

1.0 System Description: This section begins with a detailed graphic depicting key components and subsystems. A system boundary is shown, drawn around any required substation or other required grid interface equipment. Th e section includes a detailed discussion of the major system features, and how the system depicted in the schemati c operates.

2.0 System Application, Benefits, and Impacts: This section contains a description of the applications for whic h the given system is designed. The motivation for developing the system is given, as is a description of the energ y service provided by the system. Also delineated are the potential economic and environmental benefits and impacts .

3.0 Technology Assumptions and Issues: This section includes an explanation of current technological status an d the anticipated progression of the technology through the year 2030. It also includes assumptions concerning th e system being characterized, including location, commercial readiness, resource assumptions, and the energy servic e that the system provides. Perspectives on R&D efforts needed to ensure future progress are also presented.

4.0 Performance and Cost: This section contains the primary data table describing current (1997) and projecte d future (through 2030) technology cost and performance.

4.1 Evolution Overview: This subsection provides a short description of how the baseline system's configuration, size and key components evolve over the period.

4.2 Performance and Cost Discussion: This section provides a detailed discussion to explain and justify th e projections made for the technical performance and cost indicators in the table found in Section 4.0. Assumptions , methods, rationale, and references are also provided.

5.0 Land, Water, and Materials Requirements: This section contains a table and short discussion regarding th e land and water requirements for the technology. It also includes a listing of any materials considered unique to th e technology (e.g., cell raw materials, catalysts).

6.0 References: A complete list of the literature cited is included.

Figure 2. Outline for Technology Characterizations

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

The solar Stirling engine is progressively becoming a viable alternative to solar panels for its higher efficiency. Stirling engines might be the best way to harvest the power provided by the sun. This is an easy-to-understand explanation of how Stirling engines work, the different types, and why they are more efficient than steam engines.

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