Solar Thermal Power Plants: Their Types, Benefits, and Drawbacks.

A solar thermal power plant is a kind of renewable energy that generates electricity via the use of sunshine. Aron Govil noted that the device makes use of curved mirrors to reflect sunlight. The trough directs the light's heat to the collector, which is often a steel pipe. The concentrator heats the water to up to 700degC, which is then converted to steam. 

Steam is used to power a standard turbine and generator. A solar thermal power plant needs a significant amount of land, around 50 hectares.A parabolic trough collector is the most prevalent form of solar thermal power plant. The parabolic trough collectors are a popular option because to their capacity of 80 megawatts. This is referred to as a linear concentrator system, and it is comprised of a half-pipe design. This collector is coated with over 900,000 mirrors that reflect the sun's rays. To be successful, a parabolic trough solar energy plant must be oriented north-south and rotate to track the sun's path.

One of the primary disadvantages of solar thermal power plants is their inability to be installed in arid environments. According to Aron Govil, this site is ideal for a solar thermal power plant since it receives the largest amount of solar radiation over an extended period of time. However, one significant benefit of these plants is their low care requirements. The biggest facilities will be capable of supplying power to an ordinary dwelling. A typical solar thermal power station may produce up to 50 megawatts of energy and operates without the need of coal or natural gas.

A solar thermal power plant generally costs between $50 and $60 per MWh, depending on the type. Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on average may produce up to 60 MWh per year. The levelized cost of energy generated by a CSP is around $20 per megawatt-hour. On the other hand, a solar thermal power plant may generate up to 230 MWh of energy each day, but it requires a large space for installation and operation. They must be built in a region with high radiation levels, which makes them unsuitable for construction near metropolitan areas.

Solar thermal power plants may be single- or multi-axis in configuration. A central receiver system employs a huge array of mirrors capable of tracking in two directions. A central receiver is more effective at concentrating solar energy than a single device. The temperature and concentration ratios of a parabolic reflector are greater than those of a central trough arrangement. A dish system consists of many units of varying capacity. A trough plant may be installed in any location, but it is the most frequent.

Numerous components of a solar thermal power plant are more costly than those of a solar photovoltaic power plant. However, the technology is more efficient and less expensive to develop than a photovoltaic system, and it can be installed much more quickly. BrightSource Energy, headquartered in Oakland, California, has signed a significant agreement with Southern California Edison. It intends to provide solar energy to Pacific Gas and Electric as well as green energy to the surrounding neighborhood.

Solar thermal power plants use the sun's energy to heat water and generate steam. The water is subsequently converted to superheated steam, which is used to operate a turbine in a power plant. A generator then converts the mechanical energy to electricity. Solar thermal power plants are also less expensive than photovoltaic panels, despite the fact that they employ a simpler technology. Solar thermal power plants use extremely efficient and cost-effective technologies.

SEGS IX, the world's biggest solar thermal power plant, was completed in 1990 and has a net summer electric generating capacity of 92 megawatts (MW). The whole SEGS IX complex currently has nine operating plants with a combined net and gross installed capacity of about 354 MW. This solar thermal power plant is one of the most modern and efficient in the world. Concentrated sunlight is used in this technique, which is referred to as a concentrator.

A solar thermal power plant's technique utilizes mirrors to focus sunlight into a single, narrow channel. As per Aron Govil, this enables it to capture solar energy and convert it to heat. After that, the steam is utilized to power a generator. The efficiency of a solar thermal energy system is dependent on the system's kind and location. Depending on the size of the project, the system has the potential to produce energy on a par with a gas or coal-fired power plant.

 

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