CSP tech anyone?

TelcoTelco Solar Expert Posts: 201 ✭✭✭✭✭
I was looking at the tech section of Yahoo news and found a story where they were talking about Algeria reorganizing away from an oil based economy to a solar based one, in that right now Algeria derives most of their income as a nation from oil revenues and will soon be supplying solar electricity to Europe. I did a little checking on it, and found that CSP (concentrated solar power) is also being used in Africa to supply electricity to small villages. Further checking has found that CSP systems are a lot more efficient than regular photovoltaics, can produce on cloudy days or even at night by storing energy for conversion, and overall cost less.

One I liked was a system that looks like a regular satellite communications dish, and I was wondering if anyone had more information on this for residential use. I'll post back anything I find as well. From the sites I've been checking, it looks like they are using these to provide power to small African villages in a standalone capacity, which means one of these jobbers might be able to produce enough energy to run an entire US household, even if they ran 20 year old appliances, a SEER 3 AC with electric heat and incandescent bulbs. If this is the case, and the cost for a small one isn't too much, my problems are over. I could even install one at the house I live in now, if I understand what I'm seeing. I wouldn't, but I probably could. If I'm reading things correctly a single 10 foot dish could supply 5 megawatts per day, and my own use in the heat of summer is about 2 megawatts (about 1900 KWhrs) per month. Way too much, I know, but it is a very inefficient house. Not nearly as inefficient as when I moved in, but there is still too much to do.

illust_receiver_dish.gif

Comments

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: CSP tech anyone?

    without following your link, if you are refering to solar thermal being used in an arangement to generate electricity it can be done, but i am unaware of any working small systems for the small consumer. if you refer to solar cells with concentrated light, forget it as the concentrated light burns out the cells fast. a good tracking system is mandatory for both methods upping the costs conciderably too.
  • TelcoTelco Solar Expert Posts: 201 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: CSP tech anyone?

    Bummer. I was hoping to find something along these lines for residential use. I doubt I'd need 5 megawatts (if I even read that right, seems like a lot for a 10ft antenna) but it would be nice to have a single, small array that could power everything including air conditioning, electric clothes dryer and stove. Oh well, I still have 2 years to come up with a good power system before it starts getting critical for me.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,108 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: CSP tech anyone?

    From what I gleened from a quick read, it looks a though they are using the parabola to concentrate heat to pre-heat gas fired steam turbines. Cleaver idea, but not very practical for you and me. (Unless we have a gas fired turbine in out back yard).

    Look to reduce your loads first!

    Icarus
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,108 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: CSP tech anyone?

    NPR's "Morning Edition" on Wednesday August 22 had a report on the first commercial CSP turbine project in the world. It is just being fired up as we speak. I think you can down load and pod-cast the report if you go to www.npr.org.

    I think we are a long way from having mirrors in our back yards and being off the grid that way, but it least it is progress.

    Icarus
  • Lefty WrightLefty Wright Solar Expert Posts: 111 ✭✭
    Re: CSP tech anyone?

    Check out <a href'"http://www.phoenixnavigation.com/ptbc/articles/ptbc36.htm">; this site</a>.

    Home built solar powered steam generators have been around for 30 years.

    For some reason they don't get publicity.
  • Lefty WrightLefty Wright Solar Expert Posts: 111 ✭✭
    Re: CSP tech anyone?

    Well, it seems HTML doesn't work here. But you can copy and paste the link. It's worth checking out.

    How do you post links on this site?
  • TelcoTelco Solar Expert Posts: 201 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: CSP tech anyone?

    Excellent, bookmarked that page. I'd have no problem with solar steam generated electricity over PV generated electricity, my main goal is to have my cake and eat it too by running the house for free, with free being defined by cost of fuel.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,163 admin
    Re: CSP tech anyone?

    There is a little "blue/green earth" with a chain link. Highlight the Link Description, then punch the earth and enter the link.

    On the right hand side of the edit box, there is a A/A button. That switches between BBS code and WISIWAG editor.

    [HTML]
    Link Desc
    [/HTML]

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: CSP tech anyone?
    Telco wrote: »
    If I'm reading things correctly a single 10 foot dish could supply 5 megawatts per day,

    A 10' diameter dish will collect about 7.3kw/h per hour of sunlight using an insolation of 1000w/m2, a far cry from 5mW per day. Focusing just concentrates the collected energy into a smaller area, it doesn't amplify it.

    Cheers,

    Bad Apple
  • TelcoTelco Solar Expert Posts: 201 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: CSP tech anyone?
    Bad Apple wrote: »
    A 10' diameter dish will collect about 7.3kw/h per hour of sunlight using an insolation of 1000w/m2, a far cry from 5mW per day. Focusing just concentrates the collected energy into a smaller area, it doesn't amplify it.

    Cheers,

    Bad Apple

    Are you looking at this as a PV collector or a heat collector? This system was using the sun to heat water for driving a turbine. And I'm by no means an expert, but I hope to be by the time it comes to building, provided I can find a place to do it. Just looked at a piece of scrub on a cliff 10 miles from anywhere, 22 grand an acre for 10 acres :cry:.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: CSP tech anyone?

    bad apple is right as you won't get anymore energy than the total of the area of light covered in the first place. that 10' dia dish is only receiving 10' in dia of sunlight and concentrating that to a smaller area. more simply it is reflectively concentrating the same light to that smaller area much like a flashlight's reflector only more accurately.
    it also doesn't matter which way you would look at it be it for heat or pv use.
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