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Solar thermal

Low-cost Thermal Energy Storage in Concrete

Written by , on November 10, 2012

Engineeris researchers at the University of Arkansas have developed a thermal energy storage system that could dramatically increase annual energy production while significantly decreasing production costs of a concentrated solar power. Current storage methods use molten salts, oils or beds of packed rock to store heat inside thermal energy storage tanks. Although these methods do […]  Read more »

Open Source to Cut Power Generation Costs

Written by , on August 10, 2012

Zenman Energy, a non-profit company located in Virginia, is aiming to drastically reduce the installed cost per watt of  solar thermal power by developing a low-cost solar steam engine generator and giving away detailed construction plans after the prototype is complete .They hope that this open source model will lead to further improvements in the […]  Read more »

Lotus-shaped Solar Generator

Written by , on June 20, 2012

Monarch Power, a private research and development company in Arizona, is developing a lotus-shaped solar collector that is expected to produce up to 3 kilowatts of solar thermal power, as as well as steam for heating. The company also expects that the solar concentrator could be used to produce up to 3 kilowatts of solar […]  Read more »

“Smart Mirrors” Lower Concentrated Solar Costs

Written by , on April 18, 2012

A Californian company,Thermata, has developed a high-tech mirror which it says can cut the cost of sun-tracking mirrors, or heliostats, in half. The system uses small heliostats, each with a camera to detect the angle of the sun and the heliostat, together with a mesh network of microprocessors to position each mirror with the ideal […]  Read more »

Thermal Batteries Could Store the Sun’s Heat

Written by , on July 14, 2011

MIT researchers have found a compound, made from abundant and inexpensive materials, which can store and release solar thermal energy in a chemical form without degrading. The material could be used to make rechargeable thermal batteries which could store the energy for long periods without loss. Thermo-chemical storage of solar energy uses a molecule whose […]  Read more »

Solar Plant Now Supplying “Baseload” Power

Written by , on June 25, 2011

The world’s first solar power plant. to supply utility-scale "baseload" power has been launched near Seville in Spain. The 10 megawatt solar thermal Gemasolar plant has the capacity to store energy for up to 15 hours in molten salt batteries, enabling it to provide enough power for about 25,000 households for.24-hours a day.  Read more »

Combining Heat & Light for More PV Power

Written by , on May 2, 2011

A Stanford University research group says that it has found a way to more than double current solar power production efficiency. Most current technology either converts light into electricity at relatively low temperatures or converts the heat onto electricity at very high temperatures. The Stanford engineers have developed a "photon enhanced thermionic emission" technology which […]  Read more »

Big Renewables Projects for California

Written by , on August 30, 2010

The California Energy Commission has about a dozen large-scale solar thermal energy projects seeking approval before the end of 2010. Many companies are in a scramble to get approval for their solar projects started this year in order to take advantage of a Treasury grant program and the Department of Energy’s renewable-energy loan-guarantee program, both […]  Read more »

Lower Cost Solar Mirrors

Written by , on March 19, 2010

Alcoa, the giant aluminum company, is testing a new technology, based on aircraft wing design, that it believes will lower the cost of solar energy. Currently, the mirrored troughs used to concentrate sunlight in solar thermal power plants, use glass mirrors that are formed in the shape of a parabola and then attached to a […]  Read more »

Another Big Solar Power Plant for China

Written by , on January 13, 2010

China has signed an agreement with the California company, eSolar, to build a 2,000 megawatt solar thermal power plant in the Yulin Energy Park in the Mongolian desert in northern China. Four months ago, an Arizona company, First Solar, secured a contract to build an equally large photovoltaic power plant just 80 kilometres south of […]  Read more »