A Research on Concentrating Solar Power Technologies and Its Benefits

Today many power plants use fossil fuels as source of heat for boiling water. The produced steam from the boiling water rotates a turbine thus driving a generator to generate electricity. However, new inventions of power stations exist with concentrated solar power systems where the sun is the heat source. Concentrating solar power technologies uses mirrors to focus the light energy of the sun and convert it into heat to produce steam for driving a turbine that generates electric power.

For this paper, I considered Eskom electricity public utility. It is a South African electricity public utility which is known to be the largest producer of electricity in Africa and also is among the top seven utilities in the world considering the generation capacity and is also among the top nine in the world in terms of sales. Based on CSP, Eskom has concentrated on power tower type of technology. The CSP technology uses a field of heliostats that reflect the sunlight to a receiver that is mounted on the central tower located in the middle of the mirror field. A heat transfer medium if passed via the receiver and take in a highly concentrated. Eskimo recognizes need to reduce the impact on the environment while ensuring a future with lowamount of carbon. 

SCP plant was developed for determining the feasibility before the eventual full-scale replication on the Eskom fleet. The issues addressed by Eskom are; CO2 emissions reduction ability, cost effectiveness, operability of the plant, etc. It is Eskom's aim to come up with a fleet of plant. Based on learning attained from construction and operation of the demonstration plant.The strategic value of the technology in the USA is; socio-economic factor whish ensure tower technology could manufacture with higher local content compared to other CPS technology. Grid stability large-scale generates and finally low environment impact such as emission into the air.

The amount sunlight that is being encountered by earth' surface is almost 6000 time the energy needed by humans. Also, solar electric production has the highest power thickness amongst other energies that can be renewed and with thermal storage space can produce electricity in a humdrum manner even when the sun is not shining. From studies, CSP power plants are able to meet their important proportion of the upcoming worldwide electricity demand and are particularly appropriate to South Africa, and it's neighbors i.e. Namibia and Botswana. 

References

  1. Kraemer, D., Poudel, B., Feng, H. P., Caylor, J. C., Yu, B., Yan, X., ... & Chen, G. (2011). High performance flat-panel solar thermoelectric generators with high thermal concentration. Nature materials, 10(7), 532-538.