Bioenergy, Blogs, Solar, Storage

The Solar Energy in Electricity Generation

The increasing energy needs and costs, reduction of fossil resources, the formation of environmental awareness has started to increase the demands for alternative energy applications. However, fossil fuels are almost run out, it is turning into a garbage fillthy wastes to be discharged and global warming is destabilizing of the world more and more.

In addition, in today’s modern world technology serves the people solutions at every point for their urgent problems. The common needs of all humanity is electricity which is installed and used easily today. This comes a practical and precise solution sector. Whereever there is an electric shortage, getting electricity from solar system can be used. The production electricity from sun power is better than electric network and does not harm the environment and also provides clean energy.

The solar radiation reaching earth from sun can be converted to electricity which provides a clean, renewable and free source of energy to us. The solar power systems are in developing stage (there are some commercial usages but most methods are in prototype stage due to high costs avoiding commercial use). Ways of producing electricity from sun energy can be gathered under two major headlines. Photovoltaic (converting the solar power directly to electricity) and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP – which is roughly concentrating the sun beams thus creating a high temperature and converting heat energy to electricity by known methods). Photovoltaics is the technology used for directly converting the sun energy to DC electricity. The power efficiency of photovoltaic cells are between 12-24% which is considered low compared to the other energy sources. The high cost of photovoltaics prevent them from wide usage but they have many usage areas like satellites which need continuous power without batteries or small devices (calculators, watches). Concentrated Solar Power systems concentrate the sun beams to produce heat and then convert the heat energy to electricity by conventional ways. There are several designs for concentrating the sun beams but the method is the same in all designs. There is a reflector which concentrates the beams in a heat collector (also called absorber or receiver). There is a fluid (molten salt for example) flowing in the receiver and stores heat.

The hot fluid flows to a heat engine and the heat energy is converted to electricty. There are several designs which differ in the way of concentrating sun beams and storing heat.