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Solar thermal energy . Parabolic trough power plant . Solar power tower . Photovoltaic . Photovoltaic cell

Solar Energy

Posted online in april 2014

This report is the 20th volume of the CNRS/sagascience collection of multimedia scientific reports.
Website design and production:
The sagascience team/CNRS DIRCOM
Jean-Marc Dumas, Christine Girard, Sylvie Langlois
Report prepared with the support of INSIS (Institute for Engineering and Systems Sciences, CNRS) - Alain Dollet, Gilles Flamant, Daniel Lincot

Gaëlle Lahoreau, science journalist

Grrrovy loop

Nick Storey
Sound Engineer
Pierre De Champs
Translation manager:
Valérie Herczeg
David Jaggard

Scientific validation:

Part 1 - Solar Thermal Energy
Text of spoken commentary: Gilles Flamant,CNRS senior researcher, PROMES, Font Romeu-Odeillo; Alain Dollet, CNRS senior researcher, PROMES, Perpignan, Scientific assistant director, Institute for Engineering and Systems Sciences (INSIS), CNRS

The functioning of a parabolic trough power plant (animation): Gilles Flamant, CNRS senior researcher, PROMES, Font Romeu-Odeillo
The functioning of a solar power tower (animation): Gilles Flamant, CNRS senior researcher, PROMES, Font Romeu-Odeillo
Storing thermodynamic solar energy in the form of heat : Xavier Py, university professor, university of Perpignan, PROMES, Perpignan
The production of solar fuels : Stéphane Abanades, CNRS researcher, PROMES, Font Romeu-Odeillo
Low-temperature solar thermal energy : Lingai Luo, CNRS senior researcher, LTN, Nantes
Heat storage in the home: Kevyn Johannes, university Claude Bernard/Lyon, CETHIL; Lingai Luo, CNRS senior researcher, LTN, Nantes; Gwennyn Tanguy , CEA researcher, INES

Part 2 - Solar PV
Text of spoken commentary: Daniel Lincot, CNRS senior researcher and research and development director, IRDEP (EDF/CNRS/ENSCP), Chatou
How a photovoltaic cell works (animation): Daniel Lincot, CNRS senior researcher and research and development director, IRDEP (EDF/CNRS/ENSCP), Chatou
Photovoltaic silicon: Abdelilah Slaoui, CNRS senior researcher, ICube, Illkirch
Thin layers and silicon nanowires: Jean-Paul Kleider, CNRS senior researcher, LGEP, Gif-sur-Yvette; Pere Roca i Cabarrocas,CNRS senior researcher, LPICIM, Palaiseau
CIGS thin layer solar cells: Negar Naghavi, CNRS researcher, IRDEP(EDF/CNRS/ENSCP), Chatou
Multi-junction cells: Jean François Guillemoles, CNRS senior researcher, IRDEP (EDF/CNRS/ENSCP), Chatou
Concentrating photovoltaics (CPV): Alain Dollet, CNRS senior researcher, PROMES, Perpignan
Organic thin layers: Solenn Berson, CEA researcher, INES; Cyril Brochon, university Bordeaux 1, LCPO, Pessac
Dye-sensitized solar cells: Frédéric Sauvage, CNRS researcher, LRCS, Amiens
Nanophotonics and PV: Stéphane Collin, CNRS researcher, LPN, Marcoussis; Alain Fave, INL, Villeurbanne
PV systems: Corinne Alonso, university professor, LAAS, Toulouse
The PV boom: Gilles Debizet, university Grenoble 1, PACTE, Grenoble

Credits and captions for animation illustrations

Introduction :
Animation realized according to a document NASA

Part 1: Solar Thermal Energy
Wikimedia Commons :
World fair of Paris, 1878; Augustin Mouchot; Parabolic concentrator of solar energy, Augustin Mouchot, 1878; Medals of the World Fair, Paris, 1878; Collieries, Champagney & Ronchamp; Sun on Madrid (photo:; Parabolic concentrator of solar energy, Abel Pifre, 1882; Typographical press (photo Parhamr); Air sight of the solar power station of Solnovas (Spain) (photo Abengoa Solar); Field of cylindro-parabolic solar mirrors, Holaniku, Hawaii (photo Xklaim); Solar plant, Solucar (Spain) (photo Afloresm); Gemasolar Solar Plant (Spain) (photo Torresol Energy); Solar furnace, Mont Louis (France) (photo Galano); Solar furnace, Odeillo (France) (photo Philipendula); Nuclear power plant, Cattenom (France) (photo Stefan KŘhn); Planisphere of the sunning (Mlino76); Solar power plants PS10 and PS 20 (Spain) (photo Kopza1983); Barrels of oil (photo Trevor MacInnis); Gas-burner (photo George Shuklin); fuel wood (photo L. Miguel Bugallo Sánchez); Mirrors of the solar project, Mojave desert, California (photo Thecyrgroup); Tower of the thermal solar power station PS 10, Solucar (Spain) (photo afloresm); Storage unit of the thermal solar power station Andasol 1 (Spain) (photo Solar Millenium AG); Heat storage tower, Theiss (Autria) (photo Ulrichulrich); Solar shower (photo Medjaï); solar-fired heater (photo David Monniaux); solar-fired heater (photo Popolon); solar-fired heate (photo Jeromeguyon); solar-fired heate (China, (photo Vmenkov); publicity for a solar-fired heater, USA, 1902; solar-fired heater, USA, 1916 (Popular Science Monthly volume 88); post-card, Miami, 1920; Bomber B24 (RAF) during the second World War; American unloadind, 1944, Cavalaire, France (photo Sgt William Heller/Greudin); construction of an electric line, 1942, Kentucky (USA) (photo Alfred T. Palmer); Rationing of the petrol in 1974, USA (photo David Falconer); oil platform off California (USA) (photo NASA); Stamps of petrol rationing in 1974 in the United States (photo Warren K. Leffler); Cast iron of the ices at the top of Kilimandjaro between 1993 and 2000 (photos NASA); roof equipped with solar-fired heaters, Weihai (China); Diagram of a domestic thermal solar installation (ADEME); solar-fired heater (photo Jeromeguyon); Thermal panel for solar-fired heater (photo Solux); A street in Marstal, Aero island (Denmark) (photo Erik Christensen); thermal solar power stations in Ulsted, Denmark (photos Gunnar Bach Pedersen); thermal solar power station in Braedstrup, Denmark (photo blog; district heating in Mannheim, Germany (photo Frank); district heating network, Power Solutions France; Tunnel of district heating under the Rhine in Cologne (Germany) (photo A. Savin); Storage of heat for the district heating in Chemntitz (Germany); Head office JF Cesbron (photo Groupe Cesbron); positive energy building in Grenoble (France) (photo Simdaperce); Residential building in Lyon (France) (photo JeanBono); regional council in Lyon (France) (photo Atelier Christian de Portzamparc); Electric pole in Jamaica (photo Stufffreak); air-conditioned devices, Hong Kong (photo Götz); Charles de Gaulle airport (France) (photo INeverCry); Biltmore Providence hotel (USA) (photo Kenneth C. Zirkel); Durham hospital, North Carolina (USA) (photo Ildar Sagdejev); Thermal vacuum tube solar panel (photo F. Mykieta); roof panels (photo SolarCoordinates); air-conditioned installation on a building roof in Auckland (New Zealand) (photo Ingolfson); Air-conditioners in Singapore (photo Eggi); Air-conditioners in the frontage of a building, Chicago (USA) (photo Kim Scarborough); Shangai, Chine (photo dawvon).

Gilles Flamant
: Cylindro-parabolic solar mirrors, solar plant, Nevada Solar One (USA).
: Félix Trombe; Solar furnace, Odeillo (France) (photos Antoine Gonin, Alain Ferrière and Gabriel Olalde); heliostats and tower of the solar power station THEMIS (France) (photo Philippe Ege); silicon carbide grains,scanning electron microscope photography (photo Didier Cot); material with phase shift for the storage of hydrogen in solid form (photo Cyril Frésillon).
CNRS Photothèque /IN2P3 : mirrors located at the top of the THEMIS tower (photo Olivier Blaise).

Partie 2 : Solar PV
Wikimedia Commons : Le Touquet (north west of France) before 1914; Alexandre Edmond Becquerel; Albert Einstein en 1905 (Lucien Chavan/ETH Zürich); diagram of the photovoltaic effect; light ray (photo Le Zouave); AT&T Bellà laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey, USA (photo USGS); Vanguard 1 satellite; international space station (Nasa); Skylab (Nasa); passive house in Germany; first oil crisis, 1973, USA; nuclear power plant, Cattenom, France (photo S. Kuhn); P-51, the first brasilian oil platform; coal career, Graissessac, France; solar panels on headlight, France (Patrice78500); maritime tag, France; modular buoy; Mittelplate, the biggest oilfield in Germany; weather station (Noar 91); solar calculator; demonstration; sheep in a field of solar panels (photo M. Schuchard); the "solar tree", Gleisdorf, Austria (photo A. Regelsberger); solar sculpture (photo J. Claus); PV park; french daylight map (SolarGIS 2011); industrial manufacturinf of PV cells (Oregon Department of Transportation); polycristalline solar cell (photo A. Kübelbeck); flexible solar panels; some examples of organic compounds (Leyo); solar cell; quantum dot (A. Kleinsorge)

CNRS/photothèque : purification of silicon (SiMap, photo Yves Delannoy); tin oxide and cadmium sulfide on glass substrate (photo Claude Delhaye); deposit of thin layers (photo Claude Delhaye);sight of four covered samples of a hybrid thin layer of oxide of zinc and organic dye (photo Xavier Pierre); Adream building (photo Cyril Frésillon); mutli-jonction solar cell (photo A. Foucaran, Y. Cuminal); indium oxide and tin electrode (photo Cyril Frésillon); nanowires (zinc oxide) (photo David Zitoun)

CYTHELIA/Alain Ricaud : the first nergy-positive housing in France

DR : gas station during the first oil crisis, August 1973, USA ; solar farm (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France)

CEA : plastic photovoltaic solar cell (photo A. Gonin)

Boston university : dye-sensitized cell (DSSC)

Daniel Lincot : roof of a farm building equipped with photovoltaic panels, France

IRDEP : a thin layer

SOITEC : CPV power plant, Newberry Spring, California, USA

SMA Solar technology ( : electrical production starting from photovoltaic panels in Germany, 21July 2013

US Dept of Energy's Ames Laboratory : first photonic crystal model developed by American

Laboratoire de photonique et de nanostructures (CNRS) : cavities with photonic crystals engraved on a GaAs membrane of 180 Nm thickness

From Space to Earth : the story of solar Electricity/John Perlin - AATEC Publications, Michigan, 1999 : Bell laboratory researchers

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