Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

October 15, 2011

Solar plant that continues to work at night

Filed under: News/Articles — Suramya @ 11:21 PM

A major problem with Solar plants is that once the sun sets or its cloudy they are pretty much just taking up space and if I have spent a few million on a powerful solar plant I would want to be able to get as much use out of it as possible. People have tried various ways to work around the problem but till recently none of them were too successful.

Now a new solar plant has come up just outside Seville, Spain that claims to fix this problem, infact if their claims are to be believed it can function for upto 15 hours of dark. From their news release:

More than 2,600 concentrically-arranged mirrors at the Gemasolar installation just outside of Seville, Spain concentrate solar energy towards a centrally located molten nitrate salt tank. As the rays converge, they super-heat the salt to over 900 degrees Celsius, causing water around the tank to boil and drive steam turbines. In addition, any superfluous heat generated during the day is stored within the liquefied salt. It acts like a giant thermal battery for driving the turbines at night and during overcast days—up to 15 hours at a time with no sunlight.

This is pretty interesting and cool, however the price tag of $410 million is not that cool so don’t expect similar plants to start popping up all over the place anytime soon. But still… This plant alone will reduce atmospheric CO2 emissions by more than 30,000 tons a year and can produce up to 20 megawatts of power.

Source: The World’s First Solar Plant to Generate Electricity Even at Night

– Suramya

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