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Applications of Solar Energy – Part-5: Solar Thermal Power Plants


Concept of Solar Thermal Power Plants

Thermal power plants using coal as the fuel are used to generate large amounts of electricity fulfilling the needs of entire city and even the state. Very few people know that large amounts of power can be generated from solar energy also. Solar thermal power plants can generate power that can fulfill the needs of thousands of homes during any time of day and year.

The principle of working solar thermal plants is the same as conventional thermal power plants; only the fuel used to generate steam from water is different. In a conventional power plant fuel like coal is used to convert water to steam, in a solar thermal power plant, solar energy, a form of renewable energy, serves this purpose.

In the US there is a solar thermal power plant having the installed capacity that can fulfill the needs of almost 3, 50,000 people, which is almost equal to the power produced by 2.3 million barrels of oil annually. The plant is located in California’s Mojave Desert, where sunlight is available abundantly. There is another solar thermal power plant located in California which is a prototype generating 10MW power for commercial purposes.

Solar Thermal Power Plant Technologies

Three types of technologies are used in solar thermal power plants:

1) Solar thermal plants using parabolic trough: In these solar thermal plants a parabolic trough is installed. It consists of the long array of curved mirrors that form the trough and focus the sun’s rays on pipe through which the fluid, usually water, flows. Due to focused sunrays the fluid gets heated and its steam is formed. The steam flows through the conventional generators to produce electricity. The solar thermal plants using parabolic troughs are the most commercialized of the lot. As per the estimates, at present there is more 350MW of produced by the parabolic trough plants in California.

2) Solar Power Towers: The Solar Power One was the first project in US that began in 1982 aimed at producing electricity from solar energy on a large scale basis. In the solar power tower a field of mirrors is used to reflect the solar energy towards the central tower in which there is a fluid, usually water. The fluid gets heated and converted into steam, which turns the turbine as is done in conventional power plants.

See figure: Solucar PS10, the first solar thermal power plant based on tower in the world that generate electricity in a commercial way.

3) Solar thermal power plants using solar parabolic dish: The parabolic solar dish comprises of the parabolic shaped concentrator that has a similar shape to a satellite dish. The reflectors are installed on their inner surfaces that reflect the solar energy at the focal point at the center where the receiver is mounted. In the receiver the heat engine is installed that generates the electricity.

The only problem with solar thermal power plants is that they can produce electricity only during daytime and when the skies are clear. Some of the solar thermal power plants are based on hybrid technology. During daytime and clear sky days sunrays are used to heat water and generate steam. During night time and cloudy sky days natural gas is used to boil the water so that non-stop electricity is generated.

Solar Power Tower and Parabola

Reference

1) Solar Thermal Technologies in the United States

2) Solar Energy Fact Sheets

3) Solar Thermal Electricity

Green Energy Information Everybody Needs To Know

If green energy is a mystery to you, this article will show you how important it is, not just for the environment, but also for you.

Solar water heaters use the sun’s heat water resulting in energy savings. You may get tax deductions for using energy efficient upgrades.

Do you or your own a farm? If you have a lot of land, an energy company may be interested in renting a portion of the property to install a wind turbine.

TIP! Simply lessening the amount of daily energy consumption can save lots of energy. Unplug appliances when they’re not in use.

Many systems can be switched over to run on biodiesel without needing extra modifications or parts.

Consider solar water heating system. If you live in an area where freezing temperatures are not a problem, you can purchase a system that can circulate water via a solar heater prior to being pumped to your home. However, consider that you may still need a traditional heater if you will be using a great deal of hot water, or if the sun does not come out.

Find out about the various energy options your area. Compare the costs of operating your home using several of these utilities, and keep in mind that new legislation exists which will sometimes reward you for using renewable energy sources. You might be able to save money by switching to one or natural gas heat.

TIP! If you’re designing any kind of outdoor lighting, you may want to think about installing solar-powered lamps. Not only are these lamps cheap, but they only need power from the sun.

Don’t run your dishwasher unless it is filled to capacity.It consumes the same quantity of water or energy even if it’s not full. When you do use the dishwasher, be sure to make use of the energy-saving feature, which air-dries your dishes.

This will prevent power from being lost somewhere in the cable.

Take time to make sure to properly maintain your fridge properly. Since refrigerators tend to eat up a great amount of power, it is important to keep it in top-working order. Make dusting the dust that surrounds heating coils part of your weekly cleaning routine. Make sure the door seal is clean and tight.

TIP! Instead of using A/C in the summer, wear natural fabrics. Fabrics such as cotton draw moisture from the skin, which allows you to stay much cooler.

Once you start using the tips you’ve learned here, you’ll see amazing results! It will not just help you, but the environment as well. Incorporate the tips laid out here into your life, and you will see how simple it is to be green.

Simple Tips For A Green Energy Home

Have you considered green energy but didn’t know what to do about it? Does it just seem as though it would be costly or hard to do?

If you’re designing any kind of outdoor lighting, consider using solar lamps instead of conventional power. These lamps are cheap and do not require any kind of power source other than exposure to the sun. This not only saves you a lot of energy. It also save you money by not having to wire up outdoor lights.

There are grants available to help people invest in green energy. Contact local government in order to see the different programs available in your area. You can qualify for a free installation of solar power at little to no cost.

TIP! When designing outdoor lighting for your patio or garden path, consider solar-powered lamps. These inexpensive lamps require no external power source and can run entirely on solar power.

Do you happen to own a farm? If you own your farm property, you could allow an energy company to rent a small plot of your land, or renting land to a utility company for that purpose.

Many heating systems are able to change over to some biodiesel without needing extra modifications or biofuel with slight modifications.

Find out about the different energy solutions in your community. Check the cost of running your home using these utilities, and remember to take into account the government bonuses that are sometimes available. You might be able to save money by switching to well water or another may provide a reduction in energy use and cost.

TIP! Instead of blasting the air conditioner to keep cool in summer, wear clothes made from naturally cooling fabrics. Cotton and other natural fabrics actually remove moisture from the skin, resulting in a cooler feel.

Turn off appliances you are not using them. When you leave a room, make sure that all TVs, lights and computers are turned off. A power strip offers a handy way to shut down multiple devices at once, so consider placing one in a conspicuous place where many electronics are located.

What must you do in your home to use greener energy sources? This article has given you the information you need to get started, but you’ll need to make use of it. You will be amazed at the results from small changes once you start!

Solar Power

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Going Green With Wind Turbines

Wind Turbine Energy: A New and Green Alternative

When people think about finding green sources of energy, they often turn to solar power. While it is true that solar energy is a clean alternative to using traditional fuels such as gas and electricity, it is not the only green option available. Wind turbine energy is method of generating energy that is not new in theory since there are many who know how to generate electricity using wind. However, wind turbine energy is still a new form of powering an entire home.

Wind Turbines vs Solar Panels

Both solar panels and wind turbines generate power that can be used as an alternative to fossil fuels. Since solar energy and power generated using wind turbines is clean and easily renewable they can both be used by people who are looking for ways to reduce their carbon foot prints by reducing the amount of fumes that are emitted into the atmosphere. It is believed that if the planet turned away from traditional forms of power such as oil and coal the greenhouse affected (the warming of the Earth’s climate) could possibly be reduced.

The problem is, people who are interested in clean power do not know whether they should choose solar power or wind turbines. When making your choice think about your climate. If your home does not receive direct exposure to the sun on a regular basis, you might want to consider wind turbines. Remember, the energy stored by solar panels is depleted as electrical appliances are used, so if you are not able to constantly renew your solar energy wind turbines are the best, green, alternative.

Saving Money With Wind Turbines

The cost of installing a home wind turbine might be enough to discourage many homeowners. Since using wind turbines to fuel homes is still new, manufacturers and installation specialists have not had enough time to develop cheaper ways to build and install wind turbines. Having a wind turbine installed for private use can cost from several hundred to several thousand dollars.

The final cost is determined by the amount of energy you and your family will be using since this will influence how much power your wind turbine will need to generate. However, it is important to remember that after the wind turbine is installed you will have a limitless amount of energy at your disposal. Once a wind turbine is working you will no longer have to worry about paying monthly electricity bills which will save you thousands of dollars each year. In fact, your wind turbine should be able to pay for itself after only a year or two.

Going green is a choice that will help you and the environment. By switching to turbine fueled energy you and your family will be able to drastically decrease your monthly electricity costs. Also, switching to wind generated energy will help the environment by reducing the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere. You might also be able to further help the environment by starting a conservation trend in your neighborhood.

Factors Influencing Solar Panels Efficiency

Efficiency of solar panel is probably one of the reasons why most potential customers hesitate to swap their power source from conventional type to solar power. The worry of many consumers is whether after incurring the cost of solar system installation, the system will produce enough solar power to meet their needs.

Out of the total sun energy that strikes a solar panel only a fraction of it is harnessed and converted into electrical power. Efficiency of a solar panel can be gauged depending on the amount of sunrays it is able to capture and turn into usable power. On average a standard solar panel for home use converts only 20% of the total amount of solar energy that comes into contact with the solar panel. To convert the direct current generated by the solar panel to alternate current a further 15% is lost remaining with only 5 percent for use by the appliance. This means you have to compute the total amount of power that you need so that you can determine the number of solar panel you need to buy.

There are however new technologies that are coming up which are aimed at increasing the efficiency of solar panel. An increase of up to 40% in efficiency and be attained by coating the solar cell with a thin absorbing material. Further, 40% efficiency can also be achieved by use of silicon wafer which is the most commonly used material. Nano particles and magnetic modules are more superior materials with as much as 80% efficiency and the former have an added advantage of harnessing the solar energy even at night.

With eighty percent efficiency solar panel comprising of nano particles can be used to power industrial machine while the standard 20% efficiency panels are ideal for home use. With more and more technologies coming up every other day there are chances of coming up with solar panel that can be highly efficient in generating enough solar power to meet all our needs.

There are factors that affect the solar panel efficiency and their output. The amount of solar energy which reaches the panel is critical. In areas with few hours of sunlight due to weather conditions the efficiency of the solar panel is compromised. Orientation or position of solar panels may also affect their exposure to sunlight and they should be positioned in such a way that they receive maximum solar energy possible and for longer hours. If dust and debris cover the panel they interrupt solar energy reaching the panels reducing their efficiency.

The process of installation can also affect the efficiency of solar panel. The wiring materials and connections have to be done rightly to avoid loss of power. These factors affect not the absorbing ability of the solar panel but the conveying process as well. Regular cleaning of the solar panel is a must to get rid of these materials.

Solar energy may be available in abundance but its process of harnessing and delivery affects its efficiency. The most crucial area that needs more research is solar panel manufacturing technology that can improve the ability of the panel to absorb as much of the sun

Easy Steps To Follow When Going Green

In modern times, we are trending towards finding different solutions to use green energy in our everyday lives. What exactly is green energy mean? In simplistic terms, green energy is renewable energy and efficient technology that helps the environment. This energy can be used in any home, so read on to find out how this is possible.

Shading your windows from sunlight can help you use less energy. You can also try putting up blinds or curtains. You can save money and energy in the same time.

Wear natural fabrics in the summertime instead of running your air conditioner. Wear lighter colors tend to make you feel warm and cause you will be likelier to turn on the air conditioner.

TIP! Simply lessening the amount of daily energy consumption can save lots of energy. Unplug appliances when they’re not in use.

Warm-air registers should also benefit from filters.This helps keep debris (or Hot Wheels cars) from clogging vents and reducing their overall efficiency.

Only using the dishwasher when it is completely full. Don’t run it when there are only two or three dishes inside. You’ll be surprised at the amount of dishes it can load.

Solar Energy

TIP! If you plan to purchase lighting for your deck or patio, you should give solar-powered lamps a try. These lamps are very cheap, as they require no external power source, just the sun.

Solar energy can provide cheap hot water at a low cost.Consider a solar energy. You can choose from direct circulation system or an indirect one. The indirect system is best if you do not have to think about having frozen pipes during the winter.

Learn the differences between passive and active solar power.While passive simply uses the sun in storing thermal energy inside your walls to heat your house.

If you don’t know what changes to make, get an expert to provide a consultation that will optimize your energy usage. They can advise you about how much inefficient appliances cause you to lose financially, and quote the cost of a new system.

TIP! Use a solar water heater to keep your pools, tubs and plumbing full of piping hot, but cheap, water. Using natural gas and electricity is certainly the norm, but it’s not very energy efficient.

So to sum it all up, green energy is a popular subject to investigate at the moment. Some people use green energy technology, while others try to be more efficient using traditional energy sources. By following the tips found here, you can be friendlier to the planet while saving a bundle on your energy costs at the same time.

Hard Time Understanding Green Energy Technology? Try These Ideas!

There is a wealth of green energy information out there, and it can all be a little overwhelming.

When creating an outdoor light set up for a garden path or patio, consider solar-powered lamps. These lamps are cheap and do not require any kind of power source other than exposure to the sun. This saves you a ton of energy. It also means that you don’t need hard wired outdoor lights.

Be socially responsible, and cut your home energy usage by unplugging your electronic chargers when they are not in use.Chargers used for cell phones, laptops, computers and others use small amounts of power any time they are in an outlet, even if you aren’t charging anything.

TIP! The are several simple techniques to conserve energy. When a certain appliance is not in use, unplug it.

Wash your clothes with cold water whenever possible. Almost 90% of the power you use to do laundry is simply used by a washing machine comes from heating the water for a warm or hot cycle. If you are using good quality washing detergent, the use of cold water won’t affect the cleanliness of your clothing.

Don’t run the dishwasher if it is less than totally full. It consumes the exact same amounts of water or energy even if one dish is in it. When you do operate your dishwasher, be sure to make use of the energy-saving feature, which air-dries the dishes.

When you plan a solar system for your home, use winter sunshine hours to determine what potential energy generation will be. This will guarantee that you will have energy no matter what the weather brings, and you have excess during the summer.

TIP! If you currently use fuel oil for home heating, ask your local technician how you can switch over to biodiesel fuel. Some systems do not need any modifications in order to use biodiesels.

While you may not have found your online search about greener energy sources very productive, this article will provide you with the necessary information you need. The tips listed above are easy to understand, accurate, and best of all, they can help save the planet and while saving you some serious money. Your family, wallet and environment will all thank you for going green!

How To Make Your Own Electricity From Solar Wind Energy

Green Energy

The energy crunch is a real worldwide crisis as fossil fuel supplies decrease and populations increase. Utility costs are going up in pace with the increasing demand for electricity. It’s no wonder that the alternative energy arena is a quickly growing market with millions of dollars invested every year. And of these great clean renewable energy sources, solar wind power show the most promise.

What is really exciting is the realization of the incredibly high level of abundance of energy that is radiated by the sun. The amount is actually quite unfathomable. Studies have shown that the amount of energy received from the earth by the sun in just one hour is enough to satisfy the entire world’s electricity demand for an entire year! It really puts in perspective the grandeur of this almost endless source of energy.

When you think about it, the sun is really the source of all life on the planet as well as the driving force for all the weather patterns on earth. It is also the driving force behind every web of life and all of the earth’s cycles. This leads us to the other nearly endless abundant source of energy: Wind.

As long as the earth spins on its axis and the sun radiates upon it, weather patterns and the winds that are produced will always occur. Weather patterns consist of the complex and often chaotic relationship between water, the sun’s energy, and the cooling and heating of air masses throughout the atmosphere. It’s a constant interaction and clashing of cool (low pressure) air masses and hot (high pressure) air masses with water molecules usually in vapor or condensed states. It’s a very complex dance, but the result in many parts of the world is constant wind. One of the many places where winds blow constantly is the Great Plains region of North America, from northern Texas all the way to Canada.

Constant winds and the very simple yet efficient technology of wind turbines lead to a very clean and renewable source of electricity. Once again, the abundance of the source of energy is so great that it is difficult to put it in perspective. A study by Stanford University in 2005 showed that there is enough wind energy worldwide to satisfy 7 times the global demand. And that’s if only 20% of all the wind is captured!

So why is it that the human beings on the planet have not collectively headed toward usingefficient technology of wind turbines

Check out These excellent ideas for Green Energy Technology

Whether you want to make small changes or do something big, you’ll be doing good for the environment. The following tips will give you information on green energy sources that might work for you.

Simply cutting back on the amount of electricity you use on a daily basis can save lots of energy. Unplug appliances whenever you are not using them for awhile. Turn off lights and other electronics in a room when you are finished using them. This simple tip can go a long way of saving you money.

Solar panels can be an easy addition to your home that helps you and your family go green. There are several things that should be considered prior to installing them. The most important thing you need to consider is the amount of sun your home gets on average.

TIP! Simply cutting back on the amount of electricity you use on a daily basis can save a lot of energy. When you aren’t using an appliance, unplug it.

The sun will dry your clothing an incredible smell. They’ll smell so much fresher than if they were just dried in a dryer. You will also have lower utility bills by doing this.

This prevents power is not lost in the cable.

Instead, wear multiple layers, robes and slippers, and heat your living areas with a pellet stove or fireplace.

TIP! Consider outdoor lighting, such as garden or patio lighting, that is solar-powered. Not only are these lamps cheap, but they only need power from the sun.

If you don’t know whether a green energy system would help you save energy, then hire professionals like a plumber or heating expert to come in and give you an overview of your existing systems. They can let you know how much money inefficient appliances are costing you, and they can tell you what upgrading or replacing such systems will cost.

Try to communicate to people as much messaging as you can via email. In short, go paperless as much as possible.

Going green is not very complicated. As this article has shown, there are plenty of easy ways to make your life a little bit greener. Make use of what you have learned from this article. Green energy benefits the environment.

TIP! There are government grants available to help people invest in green energy. Talk to your local representative to see if programs operate in your neighborhood.