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Extra resources for Solar Thermal - Electrical Energy Systems
Current projects United States In July 2002, the US Department of Energy’s Concentrating Solar Power Program issued a request for proposals for a project to deploy 1 MW or more of dish/engine systems at a site in Southern Nevada. This field validation scheme is known as the Nevada Solar Dish Power Project. Last year, SES, an American dish developer, has built 5 dish-sterling systems of 25 kW, each, at the American National Solar Research test facility, Sandia, Albuquerque. In August 2005, SES announced conclusion of a 500 MW power purchase agreement (PPA) with Southern California Edison utility, with a future option of another 350 MW.
The steam is converted to electrical energy in a conventional steam turbine generator, which can either be part of a conventional steam cycle or integrated into a combined steam and gas turbine cycle. ������������� ��������� ������������������ Central receiver or solar tower ������� �������� ���������� A circular array of heliostats (large individually tracking mirrors) is used to concentrate sunlight on to a central receiver mounted at the top of a tower. A heat-transfer medium in this central receiver absorbs the highly concentrated radiation reflected by the heliostats and converts it into thermal energy to be used for the subsequent generation of superheated steam for turbine operation.
Another option under investigation is the development of the parabolic-line-focusing concept with segmented mirrors, according to the Fresnel principle (see box). Although this will reduce efficiency, the developers expect a considerable potential for cost reduction since the closer arrangement of the mirrors requires less land and provides a partially shaded, useful space underneath. To date, as a result of the regulatory framework prevailing in California during implementation of the SEGS plants (see box), all existing commercial parabolic trough plants use a steam cycle, with a back-up natural gas-fired capability to supplement the solar output during periods of low radiation, up to an annual maximum of 25% of primary thermal heat input.