Our lifestyle is powered by energy, yet many of us know very little about it. In this week’s Energy Bite, a weekly 90-second radio module focused on energy technology, opportunities, and challenges related to everyday life, listeners will learn things, such as how a city keeps traffic moving in a black out and hear answers to quirky questions like: Should I use wood to heat my home? Just how smart are ‘smart meters’ anyway?
Each episode, hosted by 90.5 WESA Pittsburgh and distributed by Public Radio Exchange (PRX), features interviews with energy experts from Carnegie Mellon University’s Scott Institute for Energy Innovation. Listeners can participate by asking the experts questions to explore in future episodes and by responding to polls linked to the stories. For more information visit www.energybite.org.
United States


00:00:00have you heard that the cost of solar energy is decreasing and wondered why on this week's energy fight Lisa Porter a professor at Carnegie Mellon University has some answers humans have been using solar energy from the beginning of time and serious research began in the late 1800s and included the work of famous physicists like Einstein in the 1950s a key breakthrough occurred at Bell labs when the first practical solar cells based on semiconductors were developed in the past decade we've seen a dramatic decrease in the cost of solar cells making this technology more affordable how did this occur mostly through things other than the solar cells themselves things like installation or inverters that convert the DC electricity generated by the cells into AC electricity the cost of solar cells may go down to most solar panels on homes are called first generation solar cells they use sheets of the semiconductor silicon to convert solar rays into electricity new or thin film 2nd generation solar cells use semiconductor
00:00:59materials that are around 1 Micron thick and contrast human hair is about 50 microns thick these cells use less material because they contain semiconductor materials that absorbs sunlight more efficiently less material translates to lower-cost would you consider putting solar panels on your home if the cost were low take our poll see the results and ask your energy questions at energy by. Org co-production of w Esa Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon Scott Institute for energy innovation

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