jump to navigation

Solar Thermal Possiblities Abound March 9, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, Science & Technology.
Tags: ,

Solar Company Says Its Tech Can Power 90 Percent of Grid and Cars | Wired Science from Wired.com
Solar-thermal power is gaining adherents, including Google.org, which cut a deal with another player, eSolar, as a way to cleanly generate cost-competitive, city-scale amounts of power. Unlike traditional photovoltaics, which use panels to convert sunlight into electricity, solar-thermal plants focus the sun’s rays on liquids to make steam that powers turbines. Solar-thermal is flat-out more efficient — at 20 to 40 percent — than photovoltaics, which in the field convert sunlight to electricity at about 15 to 22 percent. And solar-thermal fits into the industrial model of power production, meaning that it works in big plants, not distributed across a bunch of houses and buildings.

new research (.pdf) was presented at the IEA SolarPACES conference in Las Vegas, and is described as peer-reviewed. The paper says Ausra expects to commercialize its energy-storage technology within two years. A prototype of the system will go into a model plant the company plans to finish this summer in Bakersfield, California, the company’s founder, David Mills, told Wired.com.

Companies have been piling into the solar-concentrating space. Stirling Energy Systems, SkyFuel, Solel, BrightSource, Rocketdyne, Abengoa and the aforementioned eSolar are all working on using mirrors to concentrate the sun’s energy in one way or another.


No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: