01 May '14, 5pm

Round-the-clock solar power comes of age

Round-the-clock solar power comes of age

They can therefore be used to boost supply at times of peak demand, or at night when solar panels are not producing electricity, or at times of low wind speed, when wind turbines are not turning. Solar power's greatest drawback has always been that it is intermittent and, even in the sunniest climes, peak electricity demand is frequently in the evening when the Sun is going down. The engineering challenge has been to design a system in which enough of the Sun's heat can be stored to produce full power continuously even on cloudy days - and better still, all night. Many different designs have been tried, but finally a commercial plant in Spain seems to have cracked the problem, and as a result has won an award from a panel of independent judges. 24-hour a day power production The Gemasolar plant near the Spanish city of Seville, built by Torresol Energy, can store enough he...

Full article: http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/Blogs/2380...

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