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What is Solar Thermal & Benefits PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 12 July 2010 13:10



 Thermal power generation technologies

Solar Thermal Power systems, also known as Concentrating Solar Power systems, use concentrated solar radiation as a high temperature energy source to produce electricity using thermal route. Since the average operating temperature of stationary non-concentrating collectors is low (max up to 1200C) as compared to the desirable input temperatures of heat engines (above 3000C), the concentrating collectors are used for such applications. These technologies are appropriate for applications where direct solar radiation is high. The mechanism of conversion of solar to electricity is fundamentally similar to the traditional thermal power plants except use of solar energy as source of heat.

Concentrating solar collectors  

Solar collectors are used to produce heat from solar radiation. High temperature solar energy collectors are basically of three types;

a.) Parabolic trough system: at the receiver can reach 400° C and produce steam for generating electricity.

b.) Power tower system: The reflected rays of the sun are always aimed at the receiver, where temperatures well   above 1000° C can be reached.

c.) Parabolic dish systems: Parabolic dish systems can reach 1000° C at the receiver, and achieve the highest efficiencies for converting solar energy to electricity.

Proposed Technology for Implementation

Taking into account the present trend of investment, Cargo Power & Infrastructure proposes to use parabolic trough technology. The Company believes that parabolic trough technology is relatively mature technology with many years of operating experience.

 Parabolic trough collector system

Parabolic trough power plants are line-focusing STE (solar thermal electric) power plants. Trough systems use the mirrored surface of a linear parabolic concentrator to focus direct solar radiation on an absorber pipe running along the focal line of the parabola. The HTF (heat transfer fluid) inside the absorber pipe is heated and pumped to the steam generator, which, in turn, is connected to a steam turbine. A natural gas burner is normally used to produce steam at times of insufficient insulation.

The collectors rotate about horizontal north–south axes, an arrangement which results in slightly less energy incident on them over the year but favors summertime operation when peak power is needed.

The major components in the system are collectors, fluid transfer pumps, power generation system and the controls. This power generation system usually consists of a conventional Rankine cycle reheat turbine with feed water heaters de-aerators, etc. and the condenser cooling water is cooled in forced draft cooling towers. These types of power plants can have energy storage system comprising these collectors usually have the energy storage facilities. Instead they are couple to natural gas fired back up systems.


Last Updated on Thursday, 21 October 2010 12:57