Can solar power to generate electricity at night?

Power plants operating on the basis of solar energy, are probably one of the most promising sectors involved in the formulation of clean energy. However, there they have one very significant drawback: in cloudy weather or at night they are "idle". Is it possible to get them to work in the dark? Let's investigate.

Can solar power to generate electricity at night?

As the power plant will generate power at night

As the revision of publication, through the joint efforts of experts from Curtin University (Australia), as well as companies United Sun Systems and ITP Thermal new type of thermal battery was developed, which will help power plants operate at full capacity even in the night.

"Storage of renewable energy has long been a stumbling block the energy sector, but our prototype thermal battery is able to store and to the extent necessary to isolate the solar energy at any time of the day", - said one of the authors of Professor Craig Buckley.

Can solar power to generate electricity at night?

What is the thermal battery is and how it works

Thermal battery can store energy, and keep it up until, roughly, "Solar energy does not prove to be insufficient." At this point, the previously stored energy goes to work instead of solar power plants. Once the sun is again able to provide a full-fledged work station turbines, the battery will begin again to accumulate charge.

This is interesting: How is born the Sun's energy?

In fact, the idea of ​​developing such a battery is not new. To date, the solar power plants already use lithium batteries. But they are used only as a reserve, and give it to the needs of powered sites as well as your phone starts to lose charge after you disconnect it from the power source. In the case of the thermal battery is much more interesting.

"At that time, as the lithium battery stores electrical energy, which can be used to provide electricity when the sun is not shining, the thermal battery stores the heat from the accumulated sunlight. This can be used to operate a turbine that will produce electricity. This technology allows up to 46 kilowatts of power and is ideal for remotely located industrial enterprises or the settlements. "

Energy conservation is as follows: when the solar energy is abundant, it is stored in the fuel cells based on hydrogen gas. At the time when the night sky, or blanketed by clouds, hydrogen reacts with the metal ions. Due to the difference in temperatures between the metal and hydrogen, the reaction occurs with the formation of hydride (i.e., a compound of a metal with hydrogen) to which heat is released. That it goes to the turbine power plant. After cooling, hydrogen and metal separated, again allowing to accumulate solar energy. Thus it turns out that solar energy only "stored" for the operation of the plant and produces electricity (with a minimal loss) in the dark or overcast during the day.

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