Energy 2.0

Utility Scale Solar power Generation

Posted on: July 26, 2008

 Solar-thermal generated energy is only just emerging from the experimental stage to full-scale electricity production. Solar-thermal power concentrates the sun to heat up fuel such as gas or oil. The heat trapped within is then used to convert water into steam, which powers a conventional steam turbine to generate electricity. Fossil fuels are sometimes used as a back-up to heat the water in the boiler if the sun is not shining. There are three different methods for concentrating

the sun’s rays:

 

Parabolic Trough — This method uses long, parallel rows of glass mirrors in the shape of a trough to concentrate the sun’s rays toward the “absorber tube” — usually filled with oil — to maximum effect.

 

Power Tower — Similar in principle to parabolic-trough technology, the mirrors are placed in a circular pattern. At the center of the circle is a tower, at the top of which is a receiver filled with water, air, liquid metal or molten salt that moves to a power block and is used to power a steam turbine.

 

Parabolic Disk System — In this system, dishes rather than troughs are used to concentrate the power of the sun. An example of this type of solar project is the 500-megawatt Solar Energy Systems plant is operational in the Mojave Desert in California.

Advertisements

4 Responses to "Utility Scale Solar power Generation"

[…] Go to the author’s original blog: Utility Scale Solar power Generation […]

[…] Solar-thermal generated energy is only just emerging from the experimental stage to full-scale electricity production. Solar-thermal power concentrates the sun to heat up fuel such as gas or oil. The heat trapped within is then used to … Read More […]

The solar thermal ‘experiment’ started in the mid 1980s with the SEGS 334 MW plant in Mojave desert, California. The plant is still operation, the concept is thoroughly proven.

On-going technical refinements are aimed at reducing cost, land use, and water use by improving efficiency, and at providing heat storage so that electricity can be produced when the skies or cloudy or even dark. Using heat storage, operators can supply grids with power when it is most needed (and usually therefore obtains a higher price.)

The fourth type of solar thermal technology you don’t mention is Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector – championed by Ausra for example at http://www.ausra.com

The Mojave “experiment” can be replicated in all hot deserts of the world. Deserts receive a lot of Sun round-the-year. The land is cheap. There are minimal issues regarding rehabilitation of people. All these factors make deserts an ideal place to generate utility scale solar thermal power using various techniques as described above. TREC is an organization that seeks Clean and Green Power from Deserts (“DESERTEC”). Only 0.3% of Sahara desert can generate enough electricity to power whole of Europe-Middle East and North Africa. In India, Thar desert has the potential to generate enough power for entire South Asia. These power plants can provide employment to many locals and can also double-up as water desalination plants.
For details please visit: http://www.desertec.org, http://www.desertec-india.org.in and http://www.trec-uk.org.uk

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Calender

July 2008
M T W T F S S
« Jun   Oct »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Archives

Blog Stats

  • 10,993 hits

Top Posts

%d bloggers like this: