Ever imagined of a solar power plant which works even at night? Not many us might have dared to do it as it seems paradoxical. However, Torresol Energy has made it happen. Let’s check how.
The 19.9 MW Gemasolar concentrated solar power plant in Spain’s Andalucia province has two tanks of molten salt (MSES) that store heat energy generated throughout the day. Unlike normal plants that have less thermal storage or none at all. This stored energy enables Torresol ro meet peak summer energy demand long after sunset. A joint venture between Spanish giant Sener and Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s Future Energy Company, the Gemasolar plant has hurdled one of alternative energy’s biggest obstacles.
The MSES consists of 60% potassium nitrate and 40% sodium nitrate. This mixture has the amazing ability to retain 99% of the heat energy generated by the CSP plant to be reused later.
Expected to produce approximately 110,000 MWh of energy each year, Gemasolar aims at providind power to 25,000 homes.
Though it remains the fact that a 19.9 MW plant is relatively small, it is definitely better than a 50MW plant that lacks decent storage since it can feed the grid all of the time. Designed to operate 6,500 hours annually, this latest development in super-duper CSP plants opened in May, 2011.
We have for you a video illustrate the working of the World’s First 24/7 Solar Power Plant. Have a look.