Advanced Solar Power Technology in the Design of a Modern City – ( Solar Thermal Magazine )
The infinite number of inventions and discoveries that science has offered us so far is widely known to everyone of us. Hundreds of thousands of technological breakthroughs have improved the quality of our lives in ways we could not even imagine a few decades ago. When scientific research is backed up by huge funding capabilities, true miracles are created. One, and perhaps the most popular, case of such constant development is Masdar City, an extremely ambitious and promising project located in Abu Dhabi.
We could fill pages with the huge variety of designs and innovations currently present in Masdar City. What we are going to do is focus on an element that not only offers huge advantages to the environment and the citizens’ quality of life, but also has such a massive extent that it could, possibly, change the energy sustainability future of the entire planet. We are referring to the infamous Masdar solar power plant facilities.
It is one of the biggest solar photovoltaic plants in the region, with a total capacity of 10 MW (Mega watts, 1 MW = 1 million watts). Its viability is more than confirmed since it managed to pass every single test and specified target with flying colors. It includes around 88.000 panels equipped with thin, state of the art panel materials that ensure maximum absorption of the solar energy.
This enormous construction has offered the opportunity to engineers and scientists from numerous fields to study and make improvements on the efficiency of solar energy technology. Let’s take a look at the numbers, so that even people with minimum knowledge of alternative energy systems can realize the significance of such an important project.
The solar plants began functioning in 2006, and during the first 3 years of their operation alone, they have saved the atmosphere from an additional 24.000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. This corresponds to the pollution caused by 3.300 cars in the streets of Abu Dhabi.
The energy production rate of Masdar is so big that it has allowed the city to become a net exporter of solar energy to the United Arabic Emirates. After becoming able to cover the total amount of energy that the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology requires to operate properly, the solar plant now offers its additional energy to the UAE energy grid. It is no surprise that other countries, not only in the Arabian Peninsula but also in different parts of Africa, have shown a great interest to adopt a similar project and save millions of dollars on an annual basis. It is crucial that the construction of the plans starts as soon as possible because these countries have record temperature and solar activity levels in almost every month of a year.
Once again, technology has allowed us to harness the unlimited quantities of energy that an everlasting energy source like the sun offers us. It is 100% harmless, extremely friendly to the environment and, judging from the results so far, possibly our biggest hope for a planet that will eventually be able to cleanse itself and offer us a top quality of life.
Source : TheFutureBuild.com ( http://www.thefuturebuild.com/case-study/masdar-citys-solar-power-plant-is-net-exporter-of-energy-to-uae ).
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.