Jump to content
Thunder?
Local
Radar
Hot?
IGNORED

Is There a Point Where the Number of Solar Panels Could Affect the Amount of Energy for Heating the Atmosphere?


mike Meehan

Recommended Posts

Posted
  • Location: Mostly Watford but 3 months of the year at Capestang 34310, France
  • Weather Preferences: Continental type climate with lots of sunshine with occasional storm
  • Location: Mostly Watford but 3 months of the year at Capestang 34310, France

Thinking about solar panels and going from the sublime to the ridiculous, is there a stage whereby the number of solar panels absorbing the energy from the sun could affect the amount of energy being absorbed by the atmosphere?

I would have thought that at today's usage the effect would be minimul, but say, if we were to cover 10% of earth's surface with solar panels, would this have an affect?

I am thinking along the lines of the principal that you can't have your cake and eat it and any energy taken by the solar panels would mean that much less for the atmosphere.

Edited by mike Meehan
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 2
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted
  • Location: Runcorn, Cheshire
  • Weather Preferences: Snowy winters, hot, sunny springs and summers.
  • Location: Runcorn, Cheshire

No not really. By putting a solar panel on a roof you're collecting energy that would of otherwise just gone to waste or been absorbed ready to be radiated back into space come nightfall.

If you was to put a solar panel on every roof in the UK, I think there would be many benefits without it effecting the atmosphere/climate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Short answer: Your question violates conservation of energy.

Long answer: To a first approximation, all energy ends up as heat once it's been used. All the solar panel does is move that heat: rather than heating the desert soil, it heats the air around your house, or around your car, or wherever else the generated electricity is actually used. The only way your question makes sense is if the energy was absorbed and then never used - like a plant absorbing it, storing it as biomass and the biomass then getting fossilised as coal.

If anything, solar panels would fractionally increase the proportion of incoming energy that gets absorbed, because solar panels tend to be pretty good at absorbing sunlight (i.e. low albedo). That's what they're for. This effect would of course be offset by the reduction in planetary insulation due to lowered CO2 emissions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...