Category Archives: Solar

A Solar Thermal First: Power Around The Clock


Solar power’s perennial weakness – its inability to provide electricity after nightfall or during cloudy weather – might be vanishing: The Spanish company Torresol Energy said its solar thermal plant in Seville was recently able to pump out electricity uninterrupted for 24 consecutive hours.

The Gemasolar plant in Fuentes de Andalucía – which began operating barely a month ago – was able to keep the juice flowing using an innovative technique that stores energy in molten salt. This allows for up to 15 hours of electricity production in the absence of solar radiation, stretching the plant’s production into the night and keeping it running during heavy cloud cover.

While the plant, which can produce enough power to supply 25,000 homes, was able to pull off an around-the-clock cycle of power production, Torresol said it doesn’t expect that level of production all the time. “The high performance of the installations coincided with several days of excellent solar radiation which made it possible for the hot-salt storage tank to reach full capacity,” said Diego Ramírez, director of production at Torresol. “We’re hoping that in the next few days our supply to the network will reach an average of 20 hours a day.”

The 19.9-megwatt capacity Gemasolar plant uses a “power tower” system, with 2,650 mirrors bouncing sunlight to the top of a 140-meter tower at the center of the circle of mirrors. Torresol said a super-efficient receiver absorbs 95 percent of the radiation aimed at it, heating molten salts inside the tower to more than 500 degrees Celsius. The hot molten salts are then stored for use when the sun goes down or when clouds move in.

by Jasmine Greene, from Earth Techling

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National Utility Solar Rankings


How does your state rate?

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Solar Power Fire Safety


 

Safety is everybody’s business. A poor design or installation of a solar power system can create an unsafe condition that results in a black eye for all of us. The first step is to understand the safe use of solar power technology. Continue reading

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10 Predictions for Solar Energy in 2011


The following predictions come from EconomyWatch.com and were written by David Caploe PhD.

President Obama made a big deal of the economic potential for solar and other clean energy sources in his State of the Union speech last week, about which, in principle at least, we could not be more enthusiastic.

But the picture is not quite as, er, sunny, as we certainly, and the President presumably, would like. Continue reading

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Fool’s Gold May Be Solar Bonanza


Turning garbage into gold has been a goal since medieval alchemists stirred their cauldrons. But according to the LA Times, that dream may soon become a reality. Fool’s gold, or iron pyrite, as it’s known to geologists, soon may be used in solar cells as an alternative to the expensive and difficult-to-obtain materials used currently. Continue reading

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Colorado Prepares for Solar Convention


In the next few weeks, representatives from the solar power industry in Colorado will meet at the Embassy Suites Convention Center in Loveland for the state’s largest business-to-business solar conference and expo. The event will take place February 9-11. Continue reading

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GVR’s Flexible Solar Panel Works Even When Damaged


Check out this video of Ascent Solar’s flexible solar panel, which E&M uses in the new Gas Volume Recorder. Continue reading

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