New Research Into Solar Thermal Dish Generator Efficiency
The current record for solar photovoltaic cell conversion efficieny is about 22 percent. This is the percentage of the sun’s energy that falls on the solar cells over the course of a day that is turned into usable electricity. Compare this to a coal fire generator which only is able to convert 6% of original coal in to electricity and solar pv looks pretty great right!
However there are other clean energy technologies that are significantly more efficient for example a solar thermal dush which focus the sun’s rays to a single point with what is known as a reciever. This concentrated power of the sun is used to produce steam and the steam turns an electric generator making clean electricity.
Scientists at The Australian National University (ANU) have set a world record for efficiency for a solar thermal dish generating steam that could be used for power stations.
The team designed and built a new receiver for the solar concentrator dish at ANU, halving losses and achieving a 97 per cent conversion of sunlight into steam. This is an amazing conversion percentage even higher than nuclear fission.
The breakthrough could lead to the generation of cheaper base-load electricity from renewable energy and help lower carbon emissions which cause global warming.
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.