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Solar Energy Engineering by Soteris A. Kalogirou

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Chapter one

Introduction

1.1 General Introduction to Renewable Energy Technologies

The sun is the only star of our solar system located at its center. The earth and other planets orbit the sun. Energy from the sun in the form of solar radiation supports almost all life on earth via photosynthesis and drives the earth’s climate and weather.

About 74% of the sun’s mass is hydrogen, 25% is helium, and the rest is made up of trace quantities of heavier elements. The sun has a surface temperature of approximately 5500 K, giving it a white color, which, because of atmospheric scattering, appears yellow. The sun generates its energy by nuclear fusion of hydrogen nuclei to helium. Sunlight is the main source of energy to the surface of the earth that ...

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