05 Jul '11, 3pm

Solar Power All Day and Night via @greentechmedia

Nice charts—it shows costs are all over the map at least for CSP. But at $18/W for the pictured plant or even $7.50/W for a future model plant, the costs with storage seem higher than current PV+battery systems. If you figure 3/5 of a solar PV system goes to daytime use and 2/5 for off-peak, then on average 2 hours of storage is needed. Batteries costs are in kWh (or W @ x-hours), and even the current Volt/Leaf batteries only add around $1.50/W for the 2-hour assumption. Near-future flow batteries seem to offer a ~$1/W @ 4 hours cost. Flow or molten salt/metal batteries are utility scale, but lithium batteries may be a practical add-on to residential PV inverters. The question is—can CSP thermal storage developments beat the declining costs of battery system developments? Also, note that most of the $4-5/W PV cost is installation and equipment, not the panels, and cost red...

Full article: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/solar-all-day...

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