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What is CSP

 

CSP System utilizes mirrors to redirect and concentrate solar radiations to heat fluids that are used to drive electric generators. Solar energy has a lot of underlying advantages to its credit- its renewable, free of cost, abundant and inexhaustible. Enough power can be generated from the total amount of energy irradiated from the sun to the earth’s surface to satisfy the growing demand.

 

The most promising solar thermal technologies are:

Parabolic trough systems - Use parabolic mirror reflectors that concentrate sunlight on to receiver tubes along the reflector’s focal line. These receiver tubes contain a thermal transfer fluid such as oil which gets heated to produce steam. The steam rotates a turbine connected to a generator, producing electricity to run a conventional power plant.

Central receiver or Solar Tower - An array of flat mirrors concentrates irradiation from the sun onto a receiver, atop a central tower. This receiver contains a heat‐transfer fluid (water/molten salts) that upon absorption of highly concentrated thermal energy gets converted to steam which drives the turbine to generate electricity.

 



Stirling Dish systems - Use parabolic reflectors to concentrate solar radiation onto a receiver placed at the reflector’s focal point. The dish structure tracks the sun continuously. A thermal receiver absorbs the concentrated beam of solar energy, converts it to heat, and transfers the heat to the engine/generator to produce electricity. The most common type of heat engine used in dish/engine systems is the Stirling engine.

Linear Fresnel reflector - Technology is similar to parabolic trough systems, with the advantages of low costs of initial investment. LFR Systems utilize a field of flat mirror reflectors (cheaper than parabolic reflectors) which concentrates the beam of solar energy onto water-filled linear receivers that generate steam to drive power generating engine.