Masdar Institute scientists have published breakthrough research that could change the way solar energy is produced.
They hope to drive concentrated solar power technology to compete with traditional photovoltaic solar power using nothing more than the most abundant material found in the UAE — sand.
Named “Sandstock”, the research published at the Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems Conference in South Africa on Tuesday, showed that sand is capable of withstanding temperatures of up to 1,000 degree Celsius.
Concentrated solar power, CSP, uses mirrors to reflect heat from the sun to a concentrated point, most typically a tower filled with a material capable of storing heat and then converted into electricity.
The benefit of CSP is that the energy derived from the technology is easy to store, however in recent years the CSP has lost the battle to the more popular photovoltaic because of its better cost efficiency — but that may change with the recent findings.
“Sand is really always a drawback in this country, but in this project we wanted to use it as an advantage because it can withstand very high temperature and of course it is very cheap here,” said Dr Nicolas Calvet, assistant professor at the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and the guide for the research project.
He said that in CSP, scientists and his PhD students working on the research are always looking for materials capable of withstanding higher temperatures.
“The higher you can push your temperature the more efficient your plant will be in generating electricity,” he said. “With sand we can push it to 1,000 Celsius and it’s available,” said Dr Calvet.
The argument for CSP is that it is significantly more efficient than photovoltaic at storing energy after sunset. Again, the Masdar researchers are finding potential in sand’s capability of storing energy.
“Basically you heat up the sand during the day, and at night when you don’t have sun you can use the heat from the sand to continue to generate energy, which is not possible with PV because it is too expensive to store at this moment,” he said.
The current limitation for conventional CSP systems is capped at 600 degrees Celsius as molten salt, the most common material today, begins to degrade beyond that point.
?Sand, they found, is capable of storing energy at 400 degrees more than molten salts.
The Latest on: Concentrated solar power
via Google News
The Latest on: Concentrated solar power
- Global Concentrated Solar Power Market Analysis, Trends, and Forecasts 2019-2025on November 26, 2019 at 4:27 pm
Dublin, Nov. 26, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The "Concentrated Solar Power - Market Analysis, Trends, and Forecasts" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering. Concentrated Solar Power ...
- Concentrated Solar Power Market Analysis Report by Size, Status, Regional Demand and Growth Opportunities From 2014 to 2025 | Million Insightson November 26, 2019 at 2:34 am
FELTON, California, Nov. 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The scope of the global Concentrated Solar Power Market was appreciated at US$ 3.03 billion during 2016 and is expected to reach US$ 8.92 billion by ...
- This company wants to make steel and cement with solar power. Here’s how.on November 26, 2019 at 1:01 am
That is the bold proposition put forth by Heliogen, a small clean-energy company based in Pasadena, California, that rocketed into the national spotlight last week when it announced it had developed ...
- A Solar 'Breakthrough' Won't Solve Cement's Carbon Problemon November 21, 2019 at 11:00 pm
Its goal is to use concentrated solar energy to power industrial processes that require a lot of heat, such as steel and cement manufacturing. These industries are literally and figuratively the ...
- Secretive energy startup backed by Bill Gates achieves solar breakthroughon November 21, 2019 at 11:40 am
"The potential to humankind is enormous. ... The potential to business is unfathomable." Unlike traditional solar power, which uses rooftop panels to capture the energy from the sun, Heliogen is ...
- Bill Gates-backed Heliogen’s solar ‘breakthrough’ could replace fossil fuels in steel and other big-polluting industrieson November 21, 2019 at 4:08 am
Vox describes how the technology, based on concentrating solar power, or CSP, works. The zero-carbon swap to solar could dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in these industries as electricity ...
- Heliogen claims solar thermal breakthroughon November 20, 2019 at 5:52 am
Concentrated solar power (CSP) could be used instead of fossil fuels to provide the high levels of heat needed in carbon-intensive industrial processes like cement, steel, or petrochemical production.
- Bill Gates's Secret Solar Startup Has Generated Extreme Heat with Mirrorson November 20, 2019 at 2:21 am
The Bill Gates-backed startup Heliogen has generated solar heat topping 1,000 degrees Celsius using mirrors. Concentrated solar power isn’t new, but high heat can be used to manufacture cement and ...
- Solar energy 'breakthrough' could replace fossil fuels in some industrieson November 19, 2019 at 8:04 pm
it needs to be hot enough for not only generating power, but replacing industrial processes outright -- and even the 1,049F of the best solar concentrator systems wouldn't cut it. Heliogen, however, ...
- Bill Gates-Backed Energy Startup Announces Major Solar Breakthroughon November 19, 2019 at 2:58 pm
Previous commercial concentrating solar thermal systems have been designed to reach temperatures of up to only 565 degrees Celsius – useful for power generation, but insufficient for many industrial ...
via Bing News