Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on February 16, 2008, 9:07 am
Why does no one look into CSP (concentrated solar power)? It is may
times more efficient than photo voltaic. And with its thermal energy
storage it needs no troublesome batteries for night time energy
For details, see
A desert area 10 by 15 miles could provide 20,000 MW of power, while
the electricity needs of the entire U. S. could theoretically be met
by an area 100 miles on a side.
For a list of working solar thermal power stations, see:
Molten salt thermal storage for night time power:
Thermal efficiencies, over one year, of 99% have been predicted. The
molten salt is a mixture of 60 percent sodium nitrate and 40 percent
potassium-nitrate, commonly called saltpetre.
The salt melts at 430F (221 degrees Celsius). It is kept liquid at
550F (288 degrees Celsius) in an insulated "cold" storage tank. The
liquid salt is pumped through panels in a solar collector where the
focussed sun heats it to 1050F (566 degrees Celsius). It is then sent
to a hot storage tank. This is so well insulated that the thermal
energy can be usefully stored for up to a week.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, www.nrel.gov
Solar One was upgraded to Solar Two, which operated from 1996 to 1999.
Both systems had the capacity to produce 10 MW of power.
Posted by Anthony Matonak on February 16, 2008, 9:41 am
Thermal solar power plants have been looked at and, to the best of
my knowledge, several of them are in construction right now. They
aren't all that much cheaper than the newer PV technologies and they
have higher maintenance costs. Batteries aren't all that troublesome
or expensive and that thermal energy storage has it's own troubles.
Let's not forget that "thermal" oil they use in those solar power
plants and how easily it burns and releases toxic clouds of smoke.
Posted by nicksanspam on February 16, 2008, 10:35 am
Then again, we have water, ammonia, and molten salts.
Posted by Colin Watters on February 16, 2008, 11:35 am
'Some people' are looking into CSP. But those people are utility-scale,
large business types, and probably they don't spend time chatting in
newsgroups like this. Folks here are small scale operators and Joe public
who might slap a PV (etc) system on the roof or in the garden.
Email: my qname at domain dot com
Posted by Morris Dovey on February 16, 2008, 11:27 am
Colin Watters wrote:
Hmm - not exactly utility-scale, and probably spend too much time
chatting in newsgroups like this.
CSP requires at a degree [sorry] of precision that most
knock-something-together types don't seem willing to spend time
on - and it's inherently hazardous to living things. There are
easier and safer projects.
DeSoto, Iowa USA