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Synopsis

This easy accessible textbook provides an overview of solar toelectric energy conversion, followed by a detailed look at oneaspect, namely photovoltaics, including the underlying principlesand fabrication methods. Professor Wolf, an experienced author andteacher, reviews such green technologies as solar-heated-steampower, hydrogen, and "artificial leaf" approaches, as well asnuclear fusion. Throughout the book, carefully chosen, up-to-dateexamples are used to illustrate important concepts and researchtools.
The opening chapters give a broad and exhaustive survey of longterm energy resources, reviewing current and potential types ofsolar driven energy sources. The core part of the text on solarenergy conversion discusses different concepts for generatingelectric power, followed by a profound presentation of theunderlying semiconductor physics and rounded off by a look atefficiency and third-generation concepts. The concluding sectionoffers a rough analysis of the economics relevant to thelarge-scale adoption of photovoltaic conversion with a discussionof such issues as durability, manufacturability and cost, as wellas the importance of storage.
The book is self-contained so as to be suitable for students withintroductory calculus-based courses in physics, chemistry, orengineering. It introduces concepts in quantum mechanics, atomicand molecular physics, plus the solid state and semiconductorjunction physics needed to attain a quantitative understanding ofthe current status of this field. With its comments on economicaspects, it is also a useful tool for those readers interested in acareer in alternative energy.

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