The current energy crisis has pointed out the need for alternative, non-depletable sources of power. Solar energy would appear to be a likely source of such power for the state of Florida where the average home receives enough of this energy to supply all of its heating and cooling needs during the course of the year. Energy consumption profiles for Florida reveal that almost one-quarter of all energy is consumed within the residential-commercial section for basic heating and cooling. Additionally, the state is, essentially, totally dependent on petroleum and natural gas for its energy supply. Solar energy has been used in many application for hundreds of years, but its proliferation has been prevented by the cheapness and availability of other fuels. This, in turn, has hindered the expansion of solar technology. As a result, there are economic and sociologic problems to be overcome. In an attempt to solve these problems, a comprehensive program of basic research is being funded by the national government. The early studies made by outside researchers and the initial reports issued by the government reveal that solar systems are both economically and technically feasible. However, in Florida, the system must be used for both heating and cooling for it to be economical. Florida is an ideal area for the use of solar energy because of its climate. But, a simple calculation of solar potential shows that it will be at least 40 years before this energy can make a meaningful impact if restricted to basic heating and cooling using existing thermal technology. It is concluded that significant strides in the use of solar power will occur only when it can be converted to electricity. Recommendations are made which could help solve the energy crisis both locally and nationally.
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Evans, Ronald D.
Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Engineering
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Armstrong, Henry Michael, "A Status Report on Solar Energy Utilization in the State of Florida" (1975). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 136.