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Concentrating photovoltaics

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Posted by Stendhal on December 13, 2009, 12:52 am

The PS10 project, is an 11 MW Solar Thermal Power Plant 15 km west of
the city of Seville in Southern Spain.

The plant is the first Solar Central Receiver System of its kind and
generates 11 Megawatts (MW) of electricity, enough to power up to
6,000 homes although it is expected that when the entire project is
completed it should generate enough electricity to cover the needs of
the 600,000 population of Seville.

It works by concentrating the reflected rays from each of the 624
mirrors with a mobile curved reflective surface measuring 120 square
meters to the top of a 115 meter where a solar receiver turns water
into steam. The turbine drives a generator, producing electricity.

Compared to conventional flat panel solar cells, concentrating
photovoltaics is more cost efficient because the solar collector is
less expensive than an equivalent area of solar cells.
Concentrating photovoltaics operates most effectively in sunny
weather, since clouds and overcast conditions create diffuse light
which essentially can not be concentrated.

The PS10 solar power plant is promoted by Solcar Energa, an Abengoa
Group company.
This project has counted with the co-funding from the 5th European
Union Framework Program. Activities of Solgate Technology are still
continuing today, with the presence of Solcar R&D in the Solhyco
Project which intent to obtain the hybridization of the system
developed on the Solgate stage with gasified biomass. The Solhyco
Project counts with the collaboration of renowned research centers
such as DLR and Ciemat, and which has been co-funded under the 6th
European Union Framework Program.

Because concentrating photovoltaics perform better in environments
with clear skies, Europe is also looking across the Mediterranean to
the Sahara desert, where solar farms could provide clean electricity
for the whole of Europe, according to EU scientists working on an
scheme to build a 4.500.000 European supergrid that would allow
countries across the continent to share electricity from abundant
green sources.
In addition, because the sunlight in this area is more intense, solar
photovoltaic (PV) panels in northern Africa could generate up to three
times the electricity compared with similar panels in northern Europe.
Arnulf Jaeger-Walden of the European commissions Institute for
Energy, speaking at the Euroscience Open Forum in Barcelona, said it
would require the capture of just 0.3% of the light falling on the
Sahara and Middle Eastern deserts to provide all of Europes energy

Jaeger-Walden explained how electricity produced in solar farms in
Africa, each containing power plants generating around 50-200MW of
power, could be fed thousands of miles across European countries by
using high-voltage direct current transmission lines instead of the
traditional alternating current lines. Energy losses on DC lines are
far lower than AC ones where transmission of energy over long
distances is uneconomic.

Kind Regards,
Rafa Minuesa

Posted by Mauried on December 13, 2009, 1:18 am
On Sat, 12 Dec 2009 16:52:45 -0800 (PST), Stendhal

You have lost me here completely.
You are describing a Solar thermal Plant that generates electricity by
turning water into steam.
There is no photovoltaic involvement at all.
Its simply concentrating sunlight on an absorber to heat water.

Posted by Eye in the Sky on December 14, 2009, 1:17 am
 On Dec 13, 9:18am, maur...@tpg.com.au (Mauried) wrote:

High concentration photovoltaics (HCPV) systems employ concentrating
optics consisting of dish reflectors or fresnel lenses that
concentrate sunlight to intensities of 300 suns or more.

Posted by Jean Marc on December 14, 2009, 7:36 am
On Dec 13, 9:18 am, maur...@tpg.com.au (Mauried) wrote:

<High concentration photovoltaics (HCPV) systems employ concentrating
<optics consisting of dish reflectors or fresnel lenses that
<concentrate sunlight to intensities of 300 suns or more.

Concentration, OK. Photovolatics= direct energy conversion, from photons to
electrons with no other form of energy between.

Posted by Mauried on December 14, 2009, 10:54 pm
 On Sun, 13 Dec 2009 17:17:21 -0800 (PST), Eye in the Sky

Yes, but you have left out the most important bit, which is that the
concentrated sunlight is focussed onto photvoltaic solar cells.
The OPs example is of a Solar Thermal Power station, which has no
Solar Voltaic Cells involved at all.

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