Solar Energy Storage – Using Thermal Power Plants

Thermal-power plants that store heat intended for use on overcast days could possibly address many of the difficulties encountered with storing solar energy.

Solar advocates like to boast that merely a couple of hundred square kilometers worth of photovoltaic solar panels placed in the deserts of the US South West could possibly power the entire United States! Their particular strategy contains a warning however: – with no backup energy plants or costly investment in massive batteries, flywheels, or additional energy-storage systems, this solar power supply would undoubtedly vary significantly with each and every passing cloud (along with the  daily rise and fall and seasonal ebbs and flows).

Solar power startup company Ausra, located in Palo Alto, believe they have the answer: solar-thermal-power plants that will convert sunlight into steam and efficiently store heat for cloudy days (Solar Energy Storage solved?)

Opponents of Solar Energy Belittle Solar Strategies

“Fossil-fuel supporters commonly point out that Solar Power alone cannot get the job done, that Solar cannot operate in the evening, nor can it run the overall economy,” says David Mills, Ausra’s founder and chairman. “That is certainly true if you do not possess storage.” He agrees that solar-thermal plants tend to be the most effective because storing heat is much simpler than storing electrical energy. Mills estimates that, as a result of that benefit, solar-thermal plants capable of holding sixteen hours worth of heat could possibly supply over 90 percent of existing U.S. energy requirement at rates competitively priced with fossil fuel – as well as natural gas.

Economies of Scale in Storing Solar Energy

Solar energy and low cost did not even figure together a few years back. Nevertheless, right now the great news is that because of technological improvements in the field of solar power, as well as a huge increase in current demand from consumers, affordable solar energy is indeed a likelihood.
With that said, even today if you attempt to place an affordable solar energy product into the marketplace you are bound to be left disappointed! The price of this type of system in open competition could be somewhere in the region of $15000 – $20000. Now, this is not inexpensive, and more often than not this price tag is way beyond the reach of a middle income group household.

The DIY Route To Solar Energy

So – think outside that particular box and you can see that the best way to obtain this type of system, without emptying your wallet, will be to make one yourself. The components you need to build DIY solar power panels consist of things like – PV cells, plywood, wood, screws, copper wire etc. These can be acquired quite inexpensively in your nearby home improvement store or can be ordered online as well.
You might protest that you do not have any kind of specialized practical experience – so how would you get it done?
Well, you will be happy to find that even beginners have been effectively able to produce solar energy after some training and guidance. And the small aid helping to achieve this “miracle” is a manual that shows the precise procedure and actions needed.  This starts with acquiring the components inexpensively and runs right through putting them together with each other in a step by step process.   All the details you’ll need to produce affordable solar energy are to be found in a great Do-it-yourself manual that will enable you to create your first completely functional solar power panel. After you have successfully created your own personal solar energy system, you simply need to relax and really benefit from your effort for several years into the future. You will significantly lower your electricity bills and in some cases, when you’ve got enough solar panels, you can totally get rid of them.

The Future of Storage For Solar Energy

As we have forecast, and then achieved, affordable DIY Solar Power – so we shall also be likely to solve the current problems in storing this energy efficiently enough to make it a viable long term proposition!  We can get there – “what the mind can determine, the mind can achieve” (to paraphrase a well known principle!).