New fractal concentrated solar power receivers absorb sunlight more efficiently

October 27, 2017 by  
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Concentrated solar power facilities are often large, sprawling across desert landscapes or the futuristic California of Blade Runner 2049. But smaller plants could offer a clean energy option for villages – if researchers could boost receiver efficiency. Sandia National Laboratories engineers have come closer to that goal with a fractal -like design for receivers that are as much as 20 percent better at absorbing light than today’s technology. India may want to develop concentrated solar power plants that are one megawatt or smaller to power villages, according to Sandia engineer Cliff Ho. Better receivers could make that goal more of a possibility. Sandia engineers tested out their new receivers for small- or medium-scale use at the National Solar Thermal Testing Facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which they say is the only test facility of its kind in America. Related: Trump’s DOE invests $62 million in concentrated solar power Traditional receivers typically have “a flat panel of tubes or tubes arranged in a cylinder,” according to Sandia. They can absorb 80 to 90 percent of light directed towards them, but improving receiver efficiency could lower costs. Ho said in a statement, “When light is reflected off a flat surface, it’s gone. On a flat receiver design, five percent or more of the concentrated sunlight reflects away. So we configured the panels of tubes in a radial or louvered pattern that traps the light at different scales. We wanted the light to reflect, and then reflect again toward the interior of the receiver and get absorbed, sort of like the walls of a sound-proof room.” The engineers 3D-printed the receivers with a high-temperature nickel alloy, Iconel 718. They could test several fractal designs in an economical manner this way – Ho said it would have been difficult to create the complex geometries with casting, welding, or extrusion. Sandia will take their work and apply it to the Solar Energy Research Institute for India and the United States (SERIIUS) project, a five-year effort from the governments of both countries on cost-effective solar power technology. Via Sandia National Laboratories Images via Randy Montoya/Sandia National Laboratories and Depositphotos

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New fractal concentrated solar power receivers absorb sunlight more efficiently

Dubai to expand massive solar park to include world’s tallest solar tower

September 19, 2017 by  
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There are 2.3 million photovoltaic panels at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park near Dubai . And now the massive solar farm is about to get a 700 megawatt (MW) extension, which will include the addition of an 853-foot solar tower , the world’s tallest. The first phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park became operational in 2013 with 13 MW. It now has a capacity of 200 MW, after the second phase was launched in March this year. But the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has big plans for the solar park : by 2020, they plan to increase capacity to 1,000 MW, with the aim to increase that number to 5,000 MW by 2030. The solar park is the world’s biggest single-site concentrated solar power (CSP) project. Related: Phase 3 of world’s largest solar park slated to begin this month DEWA recently awarded the 14.2 billion AED fourth phase of the solar park to a consortium including ACWA Power in Saudi Arabia and Shanghai Electric in China. They won the contract with a bid of 7.3 US cents per kilowatt-hour. DEWA CEO HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer said in a statement, “Our focus on renewable energy generation has led to a drop in prices worldwide and has lowered the price of solar power bids in Europe and the Middle East. This was evident today when we received the lowest CSP project cost in the world.” CSP has been more expensive than traditional solar power in the past, which is one of its downsides. But CSP projects also have the ability to store some of the power as heat for later use. In 2030, the solar park could cover 83 square miles, and slash carbon emissions by 6.5 million metric tons a year. Via New Atlas and Business Wire Images via AETOS Wire and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority – DEWA Facebook

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Dubai to expand massive solar park to include world’s tallest solar tower

New data shows a solar system is installed every 2.5 minutes in the U.S.

January 14, 2015 by  
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The year 2014 was a record-breaking one for the solar power industry around the world, and here in the U.S. we were installing new solar systems at a rate faster than ever before. New data from GTM Research shows a new solar system was powered on every 2.5 minutes last year—which is, if nothing else a huge leap from past numbers, such as one system installed every two hours in 2004. Read the rest of New data shows a solar system is installed every 2.5 minutes in the U.S. Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: commercial solar , concentrated solar power , green energy , GTM Research , pv installations , renewable energy , residential solar , solar installations , Solar Power , solar USA , us solar , utility scale solar

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New data shows a solar system is installed every 2.5 minutes in the U.S.

This tulip-shaped solar plant is bringing reliable energy to Ethiopia

December 4, 2014 by  
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Development in rural African communities is often limited by lack of access to reliable power because hospitals, schools and businesses all require a steady source of electricity to be able to function. The government of Ethiopia is addressing this need using the AORA Solar- Hybrid system . The AORA system is ingenious because it is modular and uses less water than other systems, but perhaps best of all, the concentrated solar tower looks like a gorgeous energy-generating tulip high in the sky. Read the rest of This tulip-shaped solar plant is bringing reliable energy to Ethiopia Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “solar energy” , AORA , AORA energy , AORA Tulip , AORA Tulip power plant , concentrated solar energy , concentrated solar power , Hybrid energy , Solar Power , solar power plant , solar thermal power , thermal power , thermal power plant , Tulip energy , Tulip power plant , Tulip solar , Tulip solar plant

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This tulip-shaped solar plant is bringing reliable energy to Ethiopia

Old-Fashioned Steam Engines Could Solve Solar Energy Storage Problem

November 7, 2013 by  
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Australian engineers might have solved one of the biggest obstacles to scaling up solar energy — the lack of affordable storage technology that allows solar to be used at peak demand after the sun goes down. Their California-based startup Terrajoule is applying an older technology, namely steam engines, to build a storage system that could lower the cost to under $100 per kWh, which is less than 20 percent of what it costs for current battery storage systems. This new system will also last longer (it has a 25 year lifecycle), thereby eliminating use of the toxic and rare materials contained in batteries. Read the rest of Old-Fashioned Steam Engines Could Solve Solar Energy Storage Problem Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: concentrated solar power , distributed solar power generation , solar energy storage , steam engines , steam piston engines , storage system , Terrajoule        

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Old-Fashioned Steam Engines Could Solve Solar Energy Storage Problem

First 24 Hour Solar Farm Solana Launches in the United States

October 10, 2013 by  
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The Solana solar farm located 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, Arizona is the first in the United States to use molten storage technology. It still uses  hundreds of parabolic-shaped mirrors  to focus the sun’s rays, but unlike other concentrated solar power (CSP) facilities, it also uses tanks of molten salt to store huge amounts of heat for long periods of time. This feature allows energy production to continue even when the sun has gone down, making it a breakthrough for the country’s renewable energy industry. At a cost of $2 billion, the CSP facility was developed by Spanish company Abengoa Solar and took nearly three years to build. Read the rest of First 24 Hour Solar Farm Solana Launches in the United States Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: abengoa solar , Arizona , clean tech , concentrated solar power , DOE Loan Guarantee , first 24 hour solar plant in America , green tech , molten salt , Parabolic-Shaped Mirrors , phoenix , renewable energy , Solana , solar farm , Thermal storage        

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First 24 Hour Solar Farm Solana Launches in the United States

Eco Tech: University of Arizona’s new solar device could make solar energy inexpensive

November 2, 2009 by  
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Eco Factor: Solar energy harvesting device offers renewable energy at the cost of coal. In an effort to lower the cost of renewable energy and make it available at the price of conventional sources of energy, inventor Roger Angel at the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory Mirror Lab has produced the first prototype of a solar device that could eventually produce energy from the sun at a price rivaling the energy produced from conventional sources. Based on the use of mirrors that are arrayed in a parabola on a lightweight aluminum frame, the device generates electricity when these mirrors focus sunlight onto a small solar cell

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Eco Tech: University of Arizona’s new solar device could make solar energy inexpensive

Eco Tech: Southwest Airlines announces ecofriendly prototype airplane

November 2, 2009 by  
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Eco Factor: Prototype airplane made from ecofriendly and lightweight materials. Southwest Airlines has announced the development of an ecofriendly prototype airplane that will be used to test more eco-conscious materials and products to lower its carbon footprint. Southwest Airlines hopes that the use of these new materials will make their cabin more ecofriendly, while offering the same level of comfort.

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Eco Tech: Southwest Airlines announces ecofriendly prototype airplane

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