Solar energy and the sunshine map

We all know about the benefits of solar power and research into new materials, devices, and the associated fundamental physics, continues apace.

JPCM has recently published a special issue on the theory of materials for solar energy conversion. Theory being the key word here: no actual photons were harmed in the making of this issue.

Guest Editor, Natalia Martsinovich, outlines the coverage of the issue:

“This special section brings together several computational studies which address some of the key challenges faced by the photocatalysis and photovoltaics community, such as the search for materials with good light absorption, separation and localization of photogenerated charges, and mechanisms of photocatalysed reactions.”

Map of yearly sunshine hours in the world

Map of yearly sunshine hours in the world

All this talk of solar energy got us thinking about sunshine hours – it feels like we haven’t had a proper sunny day here in Bristol for weeks. The map here shows average yearly world sunshine hours. Southern Spain tends to get twice the number of sunshine hours as the UK. No wonder we are always complaining about the weather.

Luckily, solar panels still work in cloudy weather generating between about 10-25% as much energy as in full sunshine.




Featured image: Image by David Goehring published under a CC BY 2.0 license.

Map of yearly sunshine hours in the world.  Credit: Landsberg, H. E. in Pinna, M. L’atmosfera e il clima, Torino, UTET, 1978, p. 63.

Categories: Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, JPhys+

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  1. First Conference – JPhys+
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