Solar energy technologies produce electricity from the energy of the sun. Small solar energy systems can provide electricity for homes, businesses, and remote power needs. Larger solar energy systems provide more electricity for contribution to the electric power system. View an animation on the basics of solar power from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Clean Energy Technologies
The technological focus is of the VOCTEC program is on the design, installation, operation and maintenance of distributed energy systems, specifically on solar PV, micro-hydro, wind systems, and hybrid systems, utilizing one or more of these three technologies along with fossil-fueled generators.
Wind energy technologies use the energy in wind for practical purposes such as generating electricity, charging batteries, pumping water, and grinding grain. Most wind energy technologies can be used as stand-alone applications, connected to a utility power grid, or even combined with a photovoltaic system. For utility-scale sources of wind energy, a large number of turbines are usually built close together to form a wind farm that provides grid power.
Hydropower, or hydroelectric power, has a long history of use because of their many benefits, including high availability and lack of emissions. Humans have been harnessing water to perform work for thousands of years. The Greeks used water wheels for grinding wheat into flour more than 2,000 years ago. Besides grinding flour, the power of the water was used to saw wood and power textile mills and manufacturing plants. For more than a century, the technology for using falling water to create hydroelectricity has existed.
According to many renewable energy experts, a small “hybrid” electric system that combines wind and solar (photovoltaic) technologies, for example, offers several advantages over either single system. In many parts of the world, wind speeds are low in the summer when the sun shines brightest and longest. The wind is strong in the winter when less sunlight is available