Sunday, June 11, 2017

Solar Tower Power Is on the Rise

Solar generation systems can now produce electricity and store it for hours, using solar tower power without any need for batteries.

The Solucar PS10 solar power tower, part of a commercial power station. (Image Credit: afloresm via Wikimedia Commons) Click to Enlarge.
The massive expansion of solar panels on rooftops and solar farms across the world has captured the headlines, but the other established way of generating electricity from sunlight – concentrated solar power (CSP), or solar tower power – is also making great strides.

For a long time, using mirrors to concentrate the sun’s rays to heat molten salt and produce superheated steam to drive a generator’s turbines was thought to be a more promising technology than photovoltaic panels (PV), because it was originally cheaper.

But as the price of the panels has dropped dramatically in the last five years, CSP fell out of favor, although some countries continued to support its development.

Now the cost of CSP is also falling.  But it has another major advantage:  unlike the panels, it can go on producing power long after the sun has set, and can store it for up to 15 hours, for use when it’s needed.

Read more at Solar Tower Power Is on the Rise

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