Thursday, January 3, 2008

Sunny Windsor Locks

There are many ways to generate electricity using the sun's energy. One common technique involves the use of photovoltaic (PV) panels -- these are a series of flat cells that use the sun's energy to directly generate electricity. Another technique is to heat up a working fluid to drive a turbine generator, using mechanical energy to spin magnets and create electricity. With both of these common applications, the problem of storing energy until it is needed adds significantly to the cost and complexity of the systems.

Hamilton Sundstrand has partnered with US Renewables Group in California to create an innovative plan for solar energy storage. They will heat molten salt to 1000F and use it to generate steam for a steam turbine. HS claims that the molten salt retains more heat over time than water or other commonly used fluids, thereby reducing energy loss and increasing overall efficiency.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

ingenius in its simplicity

Anonymous said...

Interesting, but I wonder if the energy saved during storage isn't lost in gathering and heating the ingredients of molten salt.

CresceNet said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Energy Man said...

Old tech meets new tech.