Ivanpah has 347,000 garage door-sized mirrors distributed across 173,500 heliostats. The heliostats track with the sun so that the mirrors can efficiently reflect its rays up to boilers that sit on top of the facility’s three towers. The system uses solar field integration software and a solar receiver steam generator.
Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) solar energy is the most promising and sustainable renewable energy; rolling out CSP systems offers both performance and competitive energy prices. CSP Solar provides a crucial energy solution that is utility scale and works 24 x 7 in combination with back-up stationary fuel cells.
Concentrating solar power is one of several preferred methods of solar electricity production. In most places it has achieved ‘grid-parity’ when considering ROI over 35 years. The mainstream cost of electricity from the grid can be complemented by solar systems. The solar industry in China is funded by the government. This unrelenting investment in energy efficiency has thrust the Chinese companies into the forefront of the industry.
Other countries rely on tax incentives and special tariffs to sustain further investment in solar electricity generation. This has enabled the industry to develop and provides very attractive investment opportunities, and is expected to do so for some time to come.
There is a move in the solar industry to achieve grid-parity. Once this is secure, the solar market can expand very rapidly achieving penetration growth calculations that exceed any growth rate per se. A step-change in system costs is being achieved, putting the industry on the cusp of a major growth spurt.
Concentrating solar technology uses traditional electricity steam generators to make power fueled by solar heat.
The decrease in the costs of implementing CSP solar energy will continue. The competitiveness of concentrated solar power (CSP) will increase. Ultimately the ability to run a utility scale system that provides 24 x 7 electricity, is able to store energy and use it during the night when the sum is down provides competitive advantage to the CSP.
Concentrated Solar power markets at $1.3 billion in 2013 are anticipated to reach $53.7 billion by 2020 because the systems are able to be built at utility scale and to provide 24 x 7 solar renewable energy power. Campus stationary fuel cell power is mature and available to act as a backup power source for CSP, creating greater capabilities and a better story for justifying the build out of CSP.
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.