Concentrated Solar Thermal Power Technology – ( Solar Thermal Magazine)
The Sun is the main source of energy not only for our planet, but for the entire solar system. It, constantly, offers us light and heat, both very effective forms of energy. According to astronomers, the Sun will be in its present state for another five billion years. So it is more than safe to focus our efforts to switch the sum of our energy needs to alternative energy sources, and especially the Sun. Thankfully, we are already doing that. Scientists have tried and succeeded, so far, in capturing and storing solar energy efficiently in a very high degree. However, there is a new construction in the making that will launch solar energy technology to unprecedented levels. The company behind this amazing endeavor is SENER.
SENER is a pioneer in the field of alternative energy constructions, having already created some of the most impressive solar plants all around the world, including South Africa, Spain and even the United States of America. Its most fascinating and, still expanding, project is the Noor solar complex in Morocco.
The first part of the plant, the Noor I, is already scheduled to commence its operation later this year, having a total capacitance of 160 MW (Mega Watts, 1 MW = 1 million Watts). Its very high efficiency is achieved by using a number of components patented by SENER, called cylindrical parabolic troughs. These troughs are designed to achieve the maximum absorption rate possible.
Noor II, the second part of the plant will include the next generation troughs, also designed and patented by SENER. This will allow Noor II to reach 200 MW in capacitance.
The third and final part of the facilities, Noor III, is designed to contain a central tower plus state of the art salt receivers.
Molten salt technology, which is present in all three of the plants, allows the complex to produce energy even during the night time, when solar beams are absent.
The benefits of this technology are more than obvious to every one of us. It has the potential to replace every other type of fossil fuels that we use today. Solar energy has already started powering cars, house heating and cooling systems and, even, airplanes even though the latter is still in a juvenile stage.
The greatest of the aforementioned advantages is the conversion of factory power sources from fossil fuels combustion or burning rocks like coal or lignite. These procedures are extremely harmful to both the environment and our health. Luckily, solar complexes like Noor have started altering this situation on a global scale.
SENER is, probably, the global leader when it comes to constructing renewable energy production facilities. So far, 29 projects have been constructed in various areas of the world, with the overall capacitance reaching the stunning number of 2.000 MW. This translates to saving around 1 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions on an annual basis. The solar complex located in Morocco, alone, relieves our atmosphere of 450.000 tons of CO2 emissions every year.
It is, once more, proved that technology can improve our quality of life on a massive scale, especially when it is handled by excellent, professional companies that have solid plans, excellent structure and a clear target for the future.