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  • "We live in a world bathed in 5,000 times more energy than we consume as a species in the year." - Peter Diamandis

    「人類這個物種生活在一個壟罩在我們每年所花費的能源 5000 倍份量能量的世界上。」- Peter Diamandis

  • Every day, the sands of the Sahara Desert reach temperatures up to 80° Celsius.

    攝氏 80 度的高溫是撒哈拉沙漠的每日常態。

  • Stretching over roughly nine million square kilometers, this massive desert receives about 22 million terawatt hours of energy from the Sun every year.

    連綿約 900 萬平方公里,這片廣闊的沙漠每年吸收約 2200 萬兆瓦來自太陽的的能量。

  • That's well over 100 times more energy than humanity consumes annually.

    這可比人類每年消耗的能源多出 100 倍之多。

  • So, could covering the desert with solar panels solve our energy problems for good?

    那麼,我們能透過將這片沙漠用太陽能板覆蓋住,來永遠解決能源問題嗎?

  • Solar panels work when light particles hit their surface with enough energy to knock electrons out of their stable bonds.

    太陽能板若要起作用,則必須要有帶足夠能量的光子撞擊表面,使電子成為不穩定的狀態。

  • On their journey back to stability, these electrons produce electricity.

    在電子回歸穩定的過程,它們就會釋出電能。

  • However, there's a limit to how much power panels can generate.

    然而,太陽能板所能產出的能源是有上限的。

  • Solar panels can only interact with certain wavelengths of light, making it impossible to convert over half the sunlight they receive.

    由於太陽能板只會對特定波長的光起反應,導致過半接收的陽光無法轉換能量。

  • And even light particles they can convert often bounce off them without ever hitting an electron.

    就連能夠轉換的光子,也時常在撞擊電子之前就從太陽能板上彈開。

  • But thanks to clever scientists and engineers and substantial government investment, solar panels are generating more electricity than ever.

    拜聰明的科學家和工程師的努力,加上政府大量的資金挹注,現在的太陽能板比以前產出更多的電能。

  • Anti-reflective coatings and patterns on the panels' surface create more opportunities for incoming light particles to hit electrons.

    面板上的抗反射塗層和圖樣使得前來的光子更有機會撞擊電子。

  • These techniques have increased commercial solar panel efficiency from the low-teens to 25%, with experimental models reaching up to 47%.

    這些技術讓商業太陽能板的發電效率從原本的低於 10% 提升到 25%,而實驗性的模型甚至高達 47% 。

  • What's more, solar has gotten 89% cheaper over the last decade, thanks in part to global supply chains for other technologies that use the same materials.

    此外,太陽能的價格比起過去十年低了 89% ,這部分歸功於全球供應鏈中許多的科技都使用了相同的材料。

  • Together, these factors have made solar power the cheapest source of electricity on Earth.

    綜合以上原因,太陽能成為地球上最便宜的能源。

  • Countries including India, China, Egypt, and the US, have already taken these new panels into the desert.

    像是印度、中國、埃及和美國等國家,早已將新型太陽能板置於沙漠當中。

  • Their massive solar farms range from 15 to 56 square kilometers, and when the sun is high in the sky, these plants can provide energy for hundreds of thousands of local residents.

    這些太陽能發電廠面積約 15 到 56 平方公里不等。當太陽高掛空中時,這些電廠將供給當地數十萬餘的居民用電。

  • But these farms also get extremely hot.

    但同時這些區域也異常炎熱。

  • Light that solar cells don't convert or reflect is absorbed as heat, which reduces a panel's efficiency.

    那些無法為太陽能板轉換或是反射的光被作為熱能吸收,導致太陽能板的效率降低。

  • And the cooling systems employed by many farms can use huge amounts of energy powering fans or moving water to maintain optimal temperatures.

    而許多電廠使用的冷卻系統,如電風扇或是流水,都需耗費大量能源來維持適當的溫度。

  • Even with these systems, solar panels in the desert absorb far more heat than the natural sandy environment.

    即便有了這些系統,在沙漠中的太陽能板吸收的熱能仍遠比原生沙地環境還多。

  • This hasn't been a problem on the scale of existing solar farms,

    對現存規模的太陽能發電廠而言,這還不構成問題,

  • but if we tried to cover the Sahara, this effect could create massive changes in the region's climate.

    但我們若是要覆蓋整個撒哈拉沙漠,則會讓當地的氣候產生巨變。

  • Constructing solar farms already disrupts local ecosystems, but a plant of this scale could dramatically transform the desert landscape.

    光是架設太陽能發電廠就已破壞了當地的生態系,何況是此等規模的發電廠,這必然巨幅改變沙漠的景觀。

  • Thankfully, solar panels aren't our only option.

    幸好,太陽能板並非唯一的選項。

  • And some of the largest solar plants in the world are trying a new approach: giant mirrors.

    世界上一些大型的大陽能電廠正嘗試著一個全新的方案:巨大的鏡子組。

  • Morocco's Noor Power Plant, which will eventually cover roughly 30 square kilometers of the Sahara, is a concentrated solar power plant.

    位於摩洛哥的諾爾 (Noor) 發電廠是一座聚光型的太陽能發電廠,最終它將覆蓋撒哈拉沙漠約 30 平方公里的土地。

  • This design reflects light onto a receiver, which converts that energy to heat, and then electricity.

    這個設計會反射陽光給接收器,將其能量轉換成熱能,最後由熱能產生電力。

  • These mirrors still create a dangerous temperature shift for local wildlife, but they have less potential to transform the landscape.

    這些鏡子產生的熱能移轉對當地的野生動物而言仍然危險,但是這個方法較不會改變沙漠的景色。

  • And since it takes time for the materials being heated to cool off, these plants often continue producing electricity past sunset.

    而且由於加熱的太陽能板需要時間冷卻,這些發電廠即使在日落後通常還能繼續發電。

  • Whether they use panels or mirrors, industrial solar farms are often easy to fit into existing energy infrastructure.

    不論是用板子或是鏡子,工業用的太陽能發電廠都能輕易地與現存的能源建設結合。

  • However, getting their electricity beyond local power grids is much more difficult.

    然而,在當地能源運輸網之外取得電力卻是十分困難的事。

  • Some countries are working on ways to connect electric grids across the globe.

    全世界的部分國家正嘗試不同的方法來連結電力運輸網。

  • And many farm store energy in massive batteries, or convert their electricity into clean gas that can be used later.

    有的將能源儲存在一個巨大的電池裡,或是將電力轉換成乾淨的燃氣供未來隨時使用。

  • But right now, these techniques are still too expensive and inefficient to rely on.

    但目前這些技術仍因所費不貲且效率低落,所以不太可靠。

  • Worse still, industrial renewables can share some of the same problems as fossil fuels, relying on destructive mining operations and carbon-emitting global supply chains.

    更糟的是,工業再生能源與化石燃料有共通的缺點。兩者都依賴著破壞環境的開發過程,以及有著高碳排放的全球供應鏈。

  • Fortunately, solar can exist on many scales, from industrial solar farms to smaller installations that power individual buildings and rural communities.

    值得慶幸的是,太陽能發電的規模可大可小,從大型的發電廠,小至安裝在個人住宅以及偏遠社區的家戶用電都行。

  • These projects can supplement energy use or provide a passive source of energy for regions off the grid.

    這些計畫除了能增加可用的能源,在供電網之外的地區也能提供被動能源供給。

  • And since solar panels rely on a few simple components, they're quick to install and relatively easy to update.

    因為太陽能板由一些簡易的零件組成,它們可以迅速安裝,也能夠容易更新。

  • In fact, it's this flexibility that enabled solar to become so cheap and ubiquitous over the last decade.

    事實上,這也是近十年來太陽能板變得如此便宜且普及的原因。

  • So if we want to keep up with humanity's rising energy use, we'll need answers both big and small.

    因此,如果我們要跟上人類與日俱增的能源消耗,太陽能板的配置勢必要雙管齊下。

  • Climate change can seem like an overwhelming problem to think about. Energy, food, transportationhow do you even know where to start?

    氣候變遷乍看之下是個讓人手足無措的問題。能源、食物、運輸,到底該從哪裡開始思考才好?

  • That's why TED created Countdown, an initiative that helps break down the science behind climate change. Get informed and join the fight for our future at countdown.ted.com.

    這就是為什麼 TED 發起了 Countdown 運動,幫助解析氣候變遷背後的科學原理。快上 countdown.ted.com 了解詳情,並未我們的未來而戰吧。

"We live in a world bathed in 5,000 times more energy than we consume as a species in the year." - Peter Diamandis

「人類這個物種生活在一個壟罩在我們每年所花費的能源 5000 倍份量能量的世界上。」- Peter Diamandis

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B1 中級 中文 美國腔 TED-Ed 太陽能板 能源 發電廠 沙漠 電力

沙漠既廣闊太陽又大,為什麼我們不乾脆在上面鋪滿太陽能板?(Why don’t we cover the desert with solar panels? - Dan Kwartler)

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    Jeff Chiao 發佈於 2022 年 04 月 17 日
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