Here Comes the Sun: Advances in Solar Power

Hello everyone, and welcome to ACS
Webinars, connecting you with the best and brightest minds in chemistry and
other sciences, live from Washington, D.C. I'm Michael David, and I'll be
your host for your broadcast today which we are proudly co-producing
with The Science History Institute and Chemical and Engineering News. Today, we will be joined by Vijay
Kapur, the retired CEO of International Solar Electric Technology.

Vijay will discuss the past,
current status, and future of photovoltaics and its potential to
solve a variety of global problems. And now I'm going to turn
the program over to Lisa A. Grissom, who is the senior
philanthropy advisor at The Science History Institute to tell us about
today's speaker and moderator. Thank you, Mike. Welcome to The Science History Institute
in Philadelphia and to our Joseph Priestley Society program series. We are delighted to be
co-producing with the ACS Webinars. It's my pleasure to introduce
our program leaders for today. Dr. Vijay Kapur will be our speaker. Vijay is the retired CEO of International
Solar Electric Technology, which operated in Los Angeles for 27
years developing and patenting low cost photovoltaic technologies as
alternatives to silicon solar cells. Dr Kapur and his team developed
a cost-effective technology for manufacturing thin-film CIGS solar cells
using printing or spraying techniques. For these activities, Dr. Kapur secured multiple R&D contracts
from the DOE, DOD, NASA and the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization,
and the State of California. ISET concepts and accomplishments
influenced other solar companies worldwide.

Dr. Kapur received his PhD in physical and
organic chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and his executive MBA from
the University of California, Los Angeles. We will be taking questions at
the end of the presentation. The Q&A will be conducted by Dr. Bill Tuszynski. Bill is currently a partner at the Unami
Group, LLC, serving as sales agent for and providing market development and market
research consulting to multiple clients. Bill holds a BO… BS in biochemistry from
Manhattan College and a PhD in inorganic chemistry from Cornell. Bill serves on the executive
committee and is the program chair for the Joseph Priestley Society. Now to begin our program, I present Dr. Kapur. Vijay. Greetings. It's a pleasure to be in front of this
international audience, and I'm gonna talk about advances in solar power and how they
can be utilized for the sustainability. The sustainability challenges are as
you can see listed here on this slide.

Number one, which is very
important is climate change. The issues about access to clean
water, eco-friendly agriculture, zero emissions transmi- transportation,
access to digital information, education, economic ac- uh, opportunities,
healthcare, affordable and comfortable habitats, heating and cooling, cooking
facilities, and poverty eradication. These are some of the challenges
which are also part of the UN Sustainability Development Goals. And as you can see, I… abundant and low cost solar
energy provides possible solutions to all of these challenges.

There's not gonna be enough time for
me to cover each and every one of these, but I will refer to them as
I go along in the presentation, and, uh, some of them I may not be able to
come up because there's limited time. Nonetheless, let's just spend a little
bit of time on the climate change. This is a very serious problem
that the whole humanity is facing. And the problem is, as you can see on
this, this slide, the carbon dioxide… You know, glo- global warming concept is
quite misunderstood in the sense, when you say it's a global warming, a few
years ago, we had an Nor'easter here, the re- people surveyed the global warming. The reality is global warming means
there is a disruption in the natural cycle that we are used to and
that's causing a lot of problems.

And as you… some of us know very well how the
climate change is affecting the, um, you know, even climate around here. The carbon dioxide level, some of it
is very natural, pre um, industrial revolution, which started somewhere
in the 18th century or so, was of the order of something like 250 parts per
million, and today, I noticed that on October 20, 2020, the PPM level is 411. And it's really mind boggling that the
cumulative level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 3200 billion metric tons. And the way we are, uh, functioning
on this planet, we're putting easily about 40 billion metric tons every year. And carbon dioxide, some of the
organic chemists, is a very compound, and it has a very long life and
it stays there in the atmosphere.

So if we keep on adding more and more,
CO2 level in the atmosphere is increasing. And the major e- effect of
this climate change, as you… as I pointed out, very frequent
extreme weather events. I lived in California for 40 years,
the California's, uh, rainfall for the entire season used to
be typically about 13 inches. And if you have seen the news lately,
somewhere in South, Southern States where they're having lots of hurricanes, they
have about a foot of rain in 24 hours. Also, this climate change is
creating problems, particularly for the lack of fresh water. The good source of fresh water in
most of the countries, particularly the underdeveloped countries have
been the molten water, uh, water coming from the molten glaciers. The glaciers now have disappeared,
particularly I know in some of the Himalayan glaciers have disappeared. Simultaneously, there is a rising
sea level, rising sea temperature, and this has caused lots of
problems, particularly people who are living in different islands.

Some of these islands have disappeared. So there's hundreds of
millions of climate refugees. Okay. There are some urgent actions that
we need to take in order to arrest it, otherwise we are really on a
really rapid slope to disaster. First of all, we have to make sure
that we cut down the greenhouse gases, particularly the carbon dioxide, but
again, methane is another greenhouse gas which comes out of particularly the
fracking in this State of Pennsylvania. We actually have no choice but to
cut down the use of fossil fuels. In the course of our economic
development over the last few, uh, centuries or so, really removed lots of
forest for farming and what have you. Actually, forest and greenery
is also a very effective way of fixating carbon dioxide.

So we need to really replenish the
last greenery by way of planting trees. Our agriculture practices all over the
world are also highly questionable now. The main focus behind that has been to,
uh, economic reason to make more money, but we have really disrupted the natural
cycle of growing foods, particularly with the, uh, genetically modified seeds and
the chemical, uh, fertilizers and they are only making mess in our climate. In terms of the, um…

We also have a lot of transportation,
of course, and transportation is also one of the major contributor
to the greenhouse gases. So we need to change to public
transportation as much as we can and preferably with the either electric
vehicles or now the new thing that's coming up is the hydrogen fuel
cell powered public transportation. It's already been used in some countries. Sustainable a- agriculture and vert- and
vertical are particularly, I think that there's a trend now to grow locally the
organic food, and, uh, there's also…

Some of you may be aware of the fact
that the country of, uh, Netherland is very, very prolific in vertical farming. Now, vertical farming means you control
the environment within a building and you're not depending upon the, um, natural
environment which is highly disrupted. So the message here is in order to take
care of all of these issues, we need to really maximize the use of solar energy. Now let's just look into
what the sun is offering us. Now, although it's said, "Here
comes the sun," as the title of our chat, but sun has been always here.

[laughs]. It's been a ubiquitous sunshine
that has been sustaining life on this planet for billions of years. If you look at this, um, this slide
here, it's amazing how much of energy is being showered on this planet. Compared to that, the coal, the oil,
the gas, of course the uranium is, is a nuclear, uh, source, and we've
been just going after these ancient sources of coal, oil, and gas, but
there are also indirect sources of solar energy such as hydro and wind. And what is really amazing that the
entire world's annual consumption of power or energy that is showered on
this planet in less than one hour.

So if we only learn how to harness that
energy in a, in a environmentally safe way, there's a lot that can be done. And the challenge there is to use
the solar energy that's available without polluting the environment. And so very quickly, I gave this talk,
uh, photovoltaics, uh, past present and future last year here at this Science
History Institute, and that was, I believe focused on the photovoltaics,
but today's talk is gonna be much broader in the use of solar energy. There is the slide for the solar spectrum. As you notice, the air mass zero is the
amount of, um, solar power that comes out on, on the outer space, air mass 1.5, and
that is 1.37 kilowatt per meter squared. And this amount of solar power
that is incident upon the surface of the earth is called one… air mass 1.5, and that's a
kilowatt on a square meter. And here's a spectrum of the solar energy. You can see there's a lot of infrared, the
visible part is all this colored chart.

Moving on, there's plenty of sunshine
available all over the world. Obviously, close to
the equator, all the… you see this, you see the chart
here, they're the ones that are close to equator, the countries
get a lot more sunshine. In the United States, um, as, as it's
quite obvious that you got a lot more sunshine in Arizona, California, Texas,
New Mexico, and, uh, the way the solar guys look at it is how ma- what are… how many hours do we have
peak hours of sunlight. So what that means is you, you look
at the whole day's sunshine and you integrate that with the equivalent to
what's the noon time solar incident and figure out how many hours that'll be.

Now, this one shows here, I think, uh,
in Philadelphia here, we get somewhere around 3.8 to four hours of peak
sunlight that covers the entire year. Summertime you have more sunlight
and in wintertime, of course, it's less but if you average it
out is about 3.8 to four hours. Okay. Now how do we harness this solar energy? Of course, there are a number
of ways one is a solar thermal. There are those of you who travel
in the Western part of this country, um, there are solar thermal plants
near Las Vegas where they have a whole lot of mirrors focusing on
a tower that is collecting power. It's a multi consult, and there
are a number of other ways to do the solar power generation. I'm not gonna cover that part on this. However, we will talk about
solar thermal and photovoltaic. So, as I said, my previous talk was
all about photovoltaics so some of my, uh, material in this presentation is
also borrowed from my previous talk. So you see, the solar thermal
collectors can be used to provide heat. Now, what is really mind boggling and
we haven't paid attention to this, 50% of all the energy the world uses is
going into heating either water, or heating space, or for processing heating.

We don't want to pay a
lot of attention to that. Why? Because we have had so many of these
fossil fuels readily available. We may have to change our mindset now. So we'll talk briefly about that
and some really interesting facts, and of course, for electricity
we gonna use photovoltaics. Briefly, photovoltaics is actually,
this is a direct conversion of sunlight into DC electricity. Unlike other systems where you heat the
water, you create the steam, and you run the turbine, there's no such thing. As you see a schematic of a solar cell
here, sun shines on a semiconductor and it creates a, a electron in whole
pairs, and then the device is configured in such a way they are separated and
then there's a current flowing out. For a single junction solar cell, this
slide on the right shows the ideal man gap for the semiconductor is close to 1.5. Silicon that is very commonly
used for the solar panels today is approximately is about electron… is one electron volt.

We'll, we'll briefly talk about that. So what is happening now that beyond
this, there has been lots of research and development that has gone and
some exciting work has gone on. People are making multi-junction solar
cells that, that relate to the different, uh, uh, asps, and different side of the
solar spectrum, and I'll talk about that. Now, very briefly, the first generation
of solar cell, initially, it was all monocrystalline silicon solar cell. As I said, I've been in the game for
40 years or more, then also developed technology for, instead of growing
single crystal did the polycrystalline cast Silicon material, and they figured
out how to make it more efficient. And early on, the solar cells were
being used for the space program. And in the space program, even
though the silicon crystalline, uh, crystalline silicon were used by
most of the items that are used in space program were the III-V compound
semiconductors like gallium arsenide.

Second generation regard the thin films
solar cells coming in, and my company spent quite some time working on thin
term solar cells although I did work on the crystalline silicon solar cells
also, and those are amorphous silicon, copper indium gallium diselenide, cadmium
telluride, and of course there were multi junction solar cells in that. The third generation that's coming up is
still is pretty much in the laboratory is the Perovskite structure solar cells,
quite promising, but still there are some challenges, organic PV, desensitized
solar cells, and quantum dots. Moving on, very, very briefly the,
the top of this, uh, slide, the crystalline single crystals silicon
solar cells, which you grow into ingots, cut them into wafers, and made
them to solar cells and solar panels. And this shows you the configuration
of how the solar panel is encapsulated. Uh, there are, you know, clear glass,
an encapsulement at the top and bottom and the back sheet, but for
the polycrystalline silicon, the… instead of growing a single
crystal, which is a expensive and, and long time-consuming
process, they now cast silicon. Now that is not coming out as a
single crystal, the light comes out of polycrystalline big blocks.

They are cut into wafers and
then molded into solar cells. These are the multijunction… uh, the schematic of a multi-junction
solar cell which is based on the III-V compounds, what you see is, is gallium
ar- indium gallium arsenide and I think there's a indium gallium phosphate. Well, it's called rainbow cell
because it covers, it captures energy most of the solar spectrum. And some of the- these concepts applied
to the new materials have gone up to a chi- converting almost 50% of the
sun, solar energy to electric power.

The… Going back to the crystalline
silicons, typically the companies that are crystalline silicon solar
cell company, they make solar panels that are approximately
somewhere around 20, 20% efficient. But if you increase the efficiency,
you are collecting a lot more energy. So… But these III-V compounds are
pretty darn expensive and they have to be grown into single crystals. So therefore, there is a lot of
activity going on in new materials. And I mentioned to you, the new materials
are in, in thin films and some of these Perovskite structure, materials. Okay, this is just a chart and his shows
you, this is a record that the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden Colorado
funded by DOE maintains that, uh, record.

And you look at these, some of these,
these are multi junction solar cells, this is almost like 48% conversion efficiency. So, progress is being made all over. It's just a question of
how do we implement it. Now, I'm gonna give you some very, uh,
historical view of not too long ago. Solar cells, not just solar
panels, solar cells, when they were being made out of silicone,
the cost was almost 80 bucks as… you know, a watt, today,
this is from '77 to… this is 2014, actually 2020 prices
have even come down even further down. 2014, the cost of making
silicon solar cells is 36 cents, quite a dramatic change. And that had to do lot with the learning
the technology and economy of scale. And this is… On this slide side is the installed
solar system on a resident.

And you see the, the prices of
that, in 2018, to install solar system on somebody's house, it
will cost only $2 and 70 cents. Actually that number is even lower than
that today because even in two years, other improvement has taken place. There's another comparison here. Residential, you install at 2.70, if you
did the commercial, because commercial now has a much higher, uh, scale, and the… with scale, the price comes
down, that number was $1.83 in '18, and there is also a way… uh, no, the fixed array, it means
you got to install the solar panel on certain level and it's fixed, but
you can also track the sun starting from morning until the evening, and
then there's also seasonal tracking.

So one axis tracking during
the day, typically can add about 20% of extra output. So you see this, uh, th- this
w- this is a fixed tilt, the price is 1.06, but with the… This is one axis tracking, and that
is, uh, $1 and 13 cents a watt. The reason for that is that the
cost of tracking that is factored in, but it is quite a dramatic,
uh, cost loading in the system. So as a result, now, this was a… This is an interesting chart. Th- this dark green line is a solar. It's 2017, the solar, the cost
of energy, localized cost of energy was $50 a megawatt hour.

That means you've got 1,000 kilowatt
hours in a megawatt hour, that'd be about 5 cents a kilowatt hour. However, those numbers
have further come down. These are the goals that the Department
of Energy programs, Suns-, Sunset Progress and Goals, see they… in 2020, they claimed it was… residential was 10 cents, commercials
8 cents, utilities 6 cents. I tell you, those numbers
have further fallen down. And I, I should point out, PECO, the local
utility company negotiated a contract with an independent solar farm a couple
of years ago, and then negotiated that contract for 3 cents a kilowatt hour. PECO has lowered the price for the
residence, it is about six and a half cents, but they are getting this
energy for 3 cents a kilowatt hour. I looked into some of the numbers
in India, negotiated a price for long-term contracts with less
than 2 cents a kilowatt hour. So the net result of all of this is solar
produced electricity is cheaper than any other technique that we are familiar with. There's no more that
stigma that it's expensive.

It is very cost-effective. Now, I'm going to show you, today in
2020, the worldwide electricity production capacity is about 6,613 gigawatts. I think the US is slightly
less than 1,000 gigawatt. China is the biggest one,
that has over 1,000 gigawatts. And look at how the PV
installation is growing. If you look at the 2020 here,
in 2020, we are somewhere around 630 gigawatts worldwide. And in just less than 10 years or
10 years, it almost doubles that. So at this pr- uh, level today, our
installation, uh, worldwide installation is about 10% of the overall, uh, power
production, and in 2030, it'll be 20%. So that tells you it's slowly catching up. People are being aware of the fact that
this is very cost-effective . Okay. So the advantages of solar PV system,
first of all, they can work directly. The sunlight is directly
going to your DC power.

You don't have to go through
a thermal mechanical system, a turbine running, and, and all that. They are quite reliable and they are
modular in the sense you can always add on if the, the need grows and they can be
installed at the site where you need it. Systems are very quiet, they don't
make any noise, and they are really environmentally friendly, and the
lifespan of typical solar panels, it says 20 years but I think now it is…

25 years is taken as
a, as a, uh, standard. And w- well, you can hook up the solar
system to the grid system, but depending upon what location you are at, what,
what is the situation, you can install solar system at the site of usage
without having a big transmission lines. So these are the advantages. Okay, a question always comes up
of, "How do you store the energy?" Of course, these are different ways
of storing energy batteries, and I… sometime I will talk about
that, but this is not the time. That's for the electric storage. Thermal and solar, which we will
talk shortly, the- there are a number of ways to do that, mechanical
storage and hydrogen is coming up. If you have access, energy available
to use, I mean, the Quebec Hydro in Canada that has so many hydro plants
in the off peak hours, they electrolyze the water and produce hydrogen, but in
that, they also produce heavy water. Pumped hydro is another
way of storing energy. All right. So the grid connected system, typically
you have a South facing part of your roof with the solar panels, the DC output is…

Goes through an inverter, and then
it is fed back to the utility. That's called the n- the net making
process, which unfortunately, now utilities are afraid that
the solar might challenge them so they're putting some roadblocks. So the way it is done that in the daytime,
when you're not using electricity, if you have a solar panel on your rooftop,
you sell the excess electricity back to the utility and get credit for that. And in the nighttime, when the sun
is not shining, you use the utility. But if you have a standalone system
that you are not connected to the grid, you can have a battery, uh, the solar
panel and water, if you wanna run the DC load is an example of a solar, uh,
carport charging the electric vehicles. Now, this is very interesting, uh,
concept, vertically mounted PV system.

The rule of thumb is if you wanna
put the solar panels to maximize the output, you find out what latitude you
are at, and you take that information and you face South for the fixed array. And then in winter time, you just
jack this up a little bit because the sun is on the lower angle. But five years ago, when I came back to
Philadelphia from California, driving a route 95, I saw this Eagles Stadium. And it's amazing that it's, it's
about, uh, I think something like 4.5 megawatts of solar panels
that all vertically mounted. That piqued my interest and
I started looking into that. And it turns out, with the cost of
solar panels going down the way it is now, it's the cost of land that
actually becomes more expensive. And particularly in big cities where you
don't have real estate easily available, and if it is available, it's very costly,
so how do you put the solar panels on? So you see here's an example of,
um, Eagles in Philadelphia, New York, London, and surprisingly,
now what happens here, as the…

Your latitude goes up, the higher the
latitude, you can tilt the solar panels at a higher angle, but if you are on, on… in… on the equator, you will have the
solar panels almost sitting flat. But what is very interesting,
I came across this article from somebody in India. Mumbai, the latitude is only
19.1 compared to say 40, that we are at, or London at 51.

Even they have these solar
panels vertically mounted. The reason for that is that when they
calculate the re- return on investment, because the cost of land will be very
high there in Mumbai, so vertical mounting is really going to be quite
popular as the time goes on and depen- particularly in latitudes at 40 and above. Now, because the cost, price cost
of land is an issue, now what is happening, you see, there's
another thing called photovoltaics. They can actually make a structure
and put the solar panels on the surface of a body of, body of water
may that be a Lake, even an ocean.

And particularly in the ocean,
you ha- you can use that energy to desalinate water and have the acces-
you know, water available easily. What is very interesting and very
recent concept is agrivoltaics. That is because the farmers have
a lot of land, if you're going co- cover the whole lot of land,
you might as well have a dual use. So by putting… This is a winery, I don't
know the name of the winery on which the solar panels are… The same piece of land, the wines
are growing and actually sitting, uh, having solar panels on the top,
cuts back the loss of moisture. And, it actually cools the solar panels. Solar panel likes to be cooled. When they get hot the
energy output goes down. So i- it is a way for the farmers to
have a two ways of a revenue stream. They can grow food and they
can also sell the electricity. It helps in the… control the wind and soil erosion,
it saves the water and improve the production of the, uh, crops. These are some of the remote applications.

I talked about, uh, digital axis, and
for that you need cellular towers and I'll be, um, taking a little pride. My younger brother in India is
highly prolific in providing solar power for cellular towers. He has installed cellular… more than thousands cellular
towers that are solar powered. So in the remote area, we have cellular
towers, people can have access to communication and digital information.

That is an example of a
villager pumping water. Here, there's some streetlights,
and you've seen this right here in Philadelphia, uh, parking meters,
and also these are trash compactors. So they're remote applications
that can easily be, um, put together using low cost solar. Okay, here's now an example
of how we use the… On the global energy usage,
you see here, Asia, of course, Asia consists of 48 countries. The uses of energy has grown tremendously.

Now, I mean, here I have
the, uh, terawatt hours. One year has 8,760 hours,
and this is here, the power. And the worldwide consumption of
power is about 16 terawatts, and in the US we use around 3.35 terawatts. And sun pros on the
surface 174,000 terawatts. So it's really… It's a challenge for us to
think how best to utilize that. Okay. The energy access, it's… here's a great… Years ago when I used to talk about it,
there were more than 1.2 billion people that didn't, didn't have any access to
energy, particularly electric power.

Today, that number has gone down to 300… 940 million. Actually, of that, 400
million people were in India. Remote villages, no electric power. Then you have 30 billion… 3 billion people that have
no access to clean fuels. It used to be, and I don't know
how it is now, in the developing countries, women will go spend
six hours collecting firewood so that they could cook some meals. And there are ways that now you can… don't have to do that kind of stuff.

But anyway, the per capita electricity
consumption varies more than 100 fold between the countries that are well to
do compared to the countries that are poor and, energy consumption varies
more than 10 fold across the world, and energy access obviously is, is a
difficult challenge for people that are… don't have means and
they're poor countries. Here is an interesting fact, that is
well known, human development index. You look at the…

Here, we have the annual consumption
of kilowatt hour per capita. Countries like Iceland, I see all
these green countries have a very high level, high, uh, quality of life. And you know, a whole lot of
average quality of life countries that are pink here, and the
purple ones are extremely poor. And it is amazing, to… these people are living in these
sunny countries are very… quite poor. And here, peak sunlight hours, they're
easily five to six hours available. If you give them about a half a kilowatt
or a one kilowatt of a solar panel that nowadays is very cheap, their
lifestyle can improve dramatically. So it is the, you know, helping
improving the lifestyle. Then we talked about the access to water.

I was just talking briefly. The concept of air wells, I came
to know about that a few years ago. All the water that we get besides
the artesian wells, on the surface plane aquifer, that's clean water,
it comes either as a rain, as a snow, a hailstorms or what have you. So that the water is circulating in
the atmosphere, and now, more so now because the ocean temperature's gone up
so there's a lot of water in the air. So there's a way to extract water,
so there are lots of, um, researchers that have developed numerous
techniques to extract water straight out of the air even in desert areas. So here's an example, but this
one will require some power… uh, electric power 'cause you… what you have here is this, air is
moving in to a filter, but in that co- condenser coil here, you have a,
a refrigerant being circulated as the compressor that needs to be powered, and
then, uh, when the air goes through, the moisture condenses, it comes down and
they have an ozone generator that cleans, you know, di- disinfecting the water,
and then it's filtered through water filters and then it's ready to heat…

Ready to drink. This is one concept. There are numerous other
concepts that are… have been developed With, uh, without
any, um, electric power in that. But it can be a way of extracting
water straight out of the, the air. All right, now, talk about
habitats, heating and cooling. And, uh, I think the countries like
Denmark, that's amazing, China, Germany, Austria, Israel, these are
the countries very highly prolific in Using the solar thermal energy. So here's an example. You have a solar collector, you're pumping
in cold water and it comes out hot water. The hot water can be pumped into res-
I mean, particularly I remember in Korea when I was still there, they
had these, uh, embedded, copper pipes through collectors, it's quite efficient,
and this is becoming more popular. And as I said, in, in Denmark, they have
what they call Solar District Feeding, a cluster of homes, they get the solar
hot water from a collector system and then not only heat the house, but heat…

Get the hot water. I think something like that can be
done here [laughs], in this city. Okay. Now let's go into cooking. This is, uh, uh, American,
uh, s-solar oven. It can go up to 360 to
400 degrees C, it has… What it has, it has concentrated,
it reflects the sunlight into the, into the oven. But years ago, I came across this
concept, this this company, I think out of Japan called Gosun. Basically, it was really
designed for companies that… people that go out camping and they
wanted to cook food, they don't wanna have any fuel being carried.

And what it is, it's a, a tool that's a
double wall evacuator tube, and you have a clamshell here, it reflects the light, I
mean, the sunlight and heats the tube, and this wooden paddle, you can put the food,
uncooked food on it, put it in there. In a matter of minutes,
you can cook the food. This concept is now being developed
even further for the bigger usage. The next thing I'm gonna show you that
is quite dramatic, [laughing], I saw that that personally, couldn't believe it.

So anyway, there are ways, and this
Gosun, works even when it's a cloudy day, because as I showed you, there's a lot of
infrared, uh, part of the solar spectrum, and it re- reflects the infrared and
heats up the place and cooks the food. Now let's look at this, community
cooking with a solar generated steam. In 2014, I visited this place in
the State of Rajasthan in India. It's on mountain Abu, and I was
amazed to find out they were cooking 20,000 meals a day. And what it is, they just, by
concentrating either in this form or individual concentrators,
heat, the water and make steam. And the steam is then piped into
the kitchens and the kitchen, they cook large quantity of meals.

And let me show you that
here's the actual kitchen. That's, uh, Mount Abu in India,
they're cooking 20,000 meals a day. This caught on, they were
the pioneer, this was a… Organization Mount Abu were
the pioneers in doing this. No carbon footprint, just the
water goes in, solar heat and the steam goes to the kitchen and
you've got the food cook there. Now, there are at least, uh, three or
four other, uh, religious organizations. You might've heard
about the golden temple.

Uh, even there, you know, the Sikh
community gives free food to people. They… So there are at least four of them
in India besides this one that have adopted this steam cooking facility. Now, this can be actually applied to
places in this country, community cooking. And so that particularly the people that
are poor, don't have to worry about the fuel and all that stuff, there could
be a centralized community cooking, you take your food there and go and cook it.

There are lots of… not only steam, but other ways
to store the solar thermal energy, and it can be used. I was… I visited this place twice. I visited this place again in 2016. It was amazing to see how they
produce this, you know, good quality, healthy food with no carbon footprint. Okay. Coming back to… You know, we talked about
economic activities. I mean, all this renewable energy
adaptation creates tons of jobs. And you see here, all these yellow,
um, bodies here are solar energy, the red one are bioenergy, so the,
you know, light blue are hydro and wind, and then geothermal. But the look at the solar, each
body here presents 50,000 jobs. And I'm sure you heard, the solar industry
is producing lots and lots of jobs.

And it turns out, you can train people,
particularly in the solar industry, as far as the installer jobs are concerned. You don't necessarily need a PhD or a
ma- a master's or bachelor's degree. It take some, you know, a
healthy person who's willing to work and learn how to do it. It can be done and it can create
lots and lots of jobs as we go toward the adaptation of renewable energy.

Anyway, um, I think there is a lot of
potential for the solar energy to take care of the sustainability that we
are focusing on, and I'd like to thank the audience [laughing], wherever you
are all of you, in the US and overseas for your interest and attention. All right Vijay, we have quite
a number of questions for you. And uh, a number of them are kind
of in one subject area and I'll kind of condense them all for you. And that is on the environmental
aspects of solar panels. So that includes producing raw materials,
uh, manufacturer, installation, and then potential for recycle and reuse. Okay. So what, what is the exact question? The question is how does… what is the environmental impact
of all of that activity and how does it compare to the benefits
accrued from the solar panels? Historically, there've
been some misunderstanding.

Uh, the point in that is China in
early 1990 became very prolific and in fact, played a role in increasing the
production capacity and lowering the cost. What they were doing, in the
processing of sili- um, silicon solar cells, whatever waste they
had, they were dumping in the river. You know, that gave a bad reputation
to solar guys, but actually there's no reason why you cannot process that
waste in a environmentally friendly way. Okay. And there are two questions
on alternatives to silicon, uh, one on perovskites and
the other on, uh, quantum dot. Yeah, okay. The perovskite solar cells,
uh, are under a lot of research activity going on right now. Problem in that is, and I have… I honestly have not kept up with
all the latest, uh, development, but it used to be stability of
that material was a big issue. And, uh, I think, uh, they are improving
on that, and also they also had things like, um, lead in their structure. And I remember the Chinese and the
Japanese would not let this big company called First Solar that was
making cadmium telluride solar cells go in there because it had cadmium.

So I… The researchers have to look into how to
get it out of the elements that are not healthy and worry about the stability
of the solar cells, but they do have… I saw in news recently, multi-junction
perovskite type solar cells was reaching about 50% and they think
they can go up to 60% of conversion. So on that side, it's promising, on the
other side, you have to be mindful of the environmental safety, and I think
that's the issue that is being worked on. Okay, and quantum dots? Quantum dots are… I think the quantum dots are, if I recall,
I've been [laughs], retired more than… almost eight years ago. They had these, uh, um, concentrators that
concentrated the sunlight on these dark solar cells a they get a lot of output. I think it was Japanese that
were doing some work on that. And there is a potential to develop
that further, but, uh, I do not know of a big company that's
producing those in large quantities. Here's a question on commenting,
clarifying the impact of GMOs on climate change? I think the genetically modified, uh,
uh, seeds, I was surprised that they were making tomatoes that had the genes
been altered to put some scorpion, um, genes in there basically to fight
the ins- insectici- uh, insects.

I think most of the European
countries do not want to buy genetically modified foods. Now, part of the reason these things
are done, but simply to have a greater output, a lot more money, but it created
an imbalance in the, in the natural cycle. So in fact, there are movements even
in this country to go back to organic farming, original organic farming,
non-GMO, and now those genetically modified, um, materials also require lots
and lots of fertilizers and they were chemical fertilizer that were being used.

And, uh, it actually
created a lot of havoc. And particularly those in… I know i- in South India, there were
a lot of farmers who had bought the GMOs and they had to take debts to
go get the, um, chemical fertilizers, but then there was a drought and they
couldn't get the, the cashflow and a whole bunch of them committed suicide. That's not the way to go. You have to go back to in
sync with what nature wants. There many… lots of ways to do that. And using solar energy to help
you achieve that, it can be done. Okay. Two related questions. One is what is the efficiency and
practical practical- practicality difference between large solar roof
panels and small shingle ones, and then there's the second one on, um,
what is holding homeowners from wider adoption pointing out that if you live
in a single home for five years, you're not gonna get a return on investment? Well, actually from the energy
point of view, the payback time for the solar these days is very low.

It's a question… Um, I don't know, is it more to
the US scene or all over the world? Why the homeowners are not
putting the solars on the rooftop, is that what the question is? The question is here, what, what
incentives, you know, how… What's the economic [crosstalk 00:53:02]. Well, no, very surprisingly, just
about a week or so ago, I saw a news that State of Virginia will pay a
homeowner $2,000 just to agree to have a solar system put on their roof. Well, the point in that is, is that
it is becoming very cost-effective, maybe in some cases, people are not
able to buy it and they're giving incentives to put the solar on. And the other side I was just commenting,
I saw a show last night, that was how the utilities are deliberately putting
roadblocks for the adaptation of solar and trying to give a bad name to the
solar, solar energy, because they are afraid that it will affect their business.

The ideal way would be that they actually
take an action and get involved with this. Okay, here's a question on, are there
advantages to leveraging solar power to produce hydrogen as an energy source? Oh, yes. Uh, I will be talking about the hydrogen
economy in another two months or so. The, the point is, why
hydrogen has not been used… As I said, the Quebec Hydro is very
prolific in that, is because they had a lot of power available to them.

If you try to produce hydrogen by
electrolysis or the old way, when we… like I said, it was not that
cheap, it was very expensive. The most common way of producing
industrial hydrogen today is from hydrocarbons, but that creates greenhouse
gases and all, all that stuff, but when the electricity has become so very cheap,
and also there are some research efforts going on in developing special kind of
anodes that can make a lot more easy to produce hydrogen by electrolysis of water. So I think, uh, that you… I'm sure you heard about the green
hydrogen and hydrogen economy. Uh, it is because in the process
of electrolysis, you're not creating any greenhouse gases. So as the prices of solar,
electricity goes down, and at the same time when people…

Research further improves, the
electrolysis process, hydrogen will become very common source of energy. So I've been reading about some
unexpected effects of solar power and wind stations on migratory
birds and other animals resulting in cases of solar and vaporization. Are these reports mostly apocryphal,
if not, what is being done to prevent such results so that
we have a win-win situation? Okay. Now, windmills have been notorious for
getting a lot of migratory birds killed. However, they are also becoming
very sensitive and creating some, uh, you know, kind of alarms
for the birds to move the…

Because the windmills are in the
pathway where the migratory birds go, also, there were some stories
about the concentrated solar panel… uh, solar power production, where they
were, you know, focusing the solar energy to the powers, and if the birds went
through there, they will be toasted. That's not… We, we're not talking about that, we're
talking about photovoltaics and solar thermal, that doesn't kill the birds. Okay. Okay, what is the efficiency and
practicality differences between large solar roof panels and smaller solar
roof shingle panels for homeowners? Um, if the roof shingles are made out of
silicon solar panels, silicon solar cells, the efficiency will be pretty comparable. It's a question of the structure of
the solar panels and how it is… and also how the shingles are directed. And, you know, shingles are gonna be
fixed array, and if they are not facing South, they will not get as much output as
you would get out of these solar panels.

And I think we're at the top of the hour. So, um, I'll turn it back to you
for any last comments and thoughts. Okay, thank you very much. Well, as you can see in my presentation,
the focus is solar energy is now… Actually in solar electricity
is the cheapest way of producing electricity compared to any other
means of producing electricity. And then there is so much of
solar energy available to us.

If only we use our, you know,
smart thinking to utilize the solar energy, both in solar, thermal, and
solar electric, and we can have a great impact on the climate issue. And I talked… I didn't mention that there are
ways to even do sequestration of carbon dioxide, get the carbon
dioxide out of the atmosphere. So what that requires, the people all
over the world should really understand this, that this is something to be
made good use of, and we need to talk to our politicians and the planners. I, I know the lobbyist of the fossil fuels
are still fighting, fighting very hard, but that doesn't mean that we can just
let them do what they are doing and damage the, the planet and the climate here. We need to really be very proactive and
using solar energy and help improve the climate conditions and the lifestyle
for the people all over the world. Thank you for watching this presentation. ACS Webinars is provided as a service
by the American Chemical Society as your professional source for live
weekly discussions and presentations that connect you with subject
matter experts and global thought leaders concerning today's relevant
professional issues in the chemical sciences, management, and business.

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