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Author Topic: In Ariz., A Solar Plant That Powers 70,000 Homes Day Or Night Back to Topics
orphancarguyPE
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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 12:18:03 PM

Outside Phoenix, Ariz., on Wednesday, a power company one of the largest solar power plants of its kind in the world. But unlike other solar farms, this plant continues giving power to 70,000 Arizona households long after the sunset.

The Solana plant that are tilted so they focus the sun's rays to heat a specially-designed oil. That boils water, which drives turbines and generates electricity. Or, the oil can heat giant tanks of salt, which soak up the energy. When the sun goes down, or when households need more power, the hot salt tanks heat up the oil, which again boils water to drive the turbines.

Whereas conventional solar panels only give power when the sun is up, these giant salt batteries give renewable energy on demand. They can store six hours-worth of energy, which can meet the
Visit NPR for full article
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
heydano67
Champion Author California

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Message Posted: Oct 14, 2013 2:49:17 AM

I wonder how efficient it is.
oldmack
Champion Author Riverside

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Message Posted: Oct 14, 2013 2:21:55 AM

ok
drobbbb
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Oct 13, 2013 11:16:39 PM

this can only grow in Arizona
PDQBlues
Champion Author San Diego

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Message Posted: Oct 13, 2013 9:01:18 PM


There's plenty of sunshine in the Southwest. Solar makes a lot of $en$e.
drpepperTX
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Oct 13, 2013 10:30:53 AM

"How much of it is subsidized?"
========================
This plant is subsidized to the tune of $1,450,000,000.00 in federal (tax dollar) loan guarantees. That's about 75% of the total cost.
orphancarguyPE
Champion Author PEI

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Message Posted: Oct 13, 2013 9:36:14 AM

Daytime and up to six hours after sunset is where most of the electricity used in every 24 hours is used. Surprisingly, its not dark evening but right in the the bright sunlight hours that more electricity is used. This makes traditional solar PV sensible no matter what Fox News says..as long as you have something like this for the sholder period that can be turned on and off in the blink of an eye. Overnight, there is a serious OVERSUPPLY nowadays of electricity even from baseline generating...its hard to give it away. Why do you think its so cheap from midnight to 6AM where there are variable power rates?? (wind power by the way, tends to be be higher overnight than during the day on average, so that too helps with overnight supply) So, this neatly covers the high use portions of the day--and make renewables that much more 'efficient'
MadFueler
Champion Author Winston-Salem

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Message Posted: Oct 13, 2013 8:59:45 AM

Yes, FPLREP, any storage mechanism involves transfer and therefore some energy loss - but the gains involved in timeshifting the use of the energy are a good tradeoff.
FPLREP
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Oct 13, 2013 7:43:19 AM

Lots of heat transfer involved in the process. Transfer and transformation each have an energy loss.
leeac
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Oct 13, 2013 4:07:53 AM

Wind and direct solar energy are the energy sources of the future.
djgunrunner
Champion Author Salt Lake City

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Message Posted: Oct 13, 2013 3:42:24 AM

How much of it is subsidized?
gbs1
Champion Author Minnesota

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Message Posted: Oct 13, 2013 2:50:47 AM

Good idea
Amplion
Champion Author Oregon

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Message Posted: Oct 13, 2013 2:26:06 AM

SHUT DOWN NPR !!!
cnygas
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Oct 13, 2013 1:59:38 AM

Glad to see something
doeslayersr
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Oct 13, 2013 12:07:15 AM

Article is better suited for another forum or a different website such as solarbuddy.com
CdnLynx
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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 10:39:40 PM

It great! Salt batteries to hold energy after the sum goes down makes it far better, it may only be six hours; still a world of difference, if it takes it just a little farther, in order to create more creature comfort!
andy1024
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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 8:53:19 PM

Fantastic.
danindenver
Champion Author Denver

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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 7:03:36 PM

Livin' the dream!

tillandsia
Veteran Author Gainesville

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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 6:36:27 PM

Sounds great!
gcalleja
Champion Author Miami

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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 6:31:27 PM

Great! Competition for OPEC.
ktbaeohana
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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 5:56:42 PM

GOOD NEWS.
mike56MI
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 5:50:55 PM

Cool
wrunner
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 5:44:18 PM

Fascinating!

Let the sunshine in and let it shine brightly.

The future so bright, gonna, gotta wear shades.
MidNJ
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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 5:21:01 PM

Interesting technology.
SRcyclist
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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 4:49:20 PM

Sounds good
evowner
Champion Author Salem

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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 3:19:35 PM

I thought the idea was too complicated, but I hadn't considered the energy storage aspect.
TXCRZ
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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 3:00:34 PM

Better life thru technology!
BUSMAN1105
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 2:55:49 PM

WE NEED MORE OF THESE TYPE OF POWER PLANTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
YumaFellow
Champion Author Arizona

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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 2:53:38 PM

Drive buy this place frequently. It is an impressive plant and the technology seems to be working well.
livedream
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 2:48:27 PM

Sounds like a definite improvement over traditional solar power.
Good article!
humblepie
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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 2:38:42 PM

what thrilling news eh ?
csblesson
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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 2:30:02 PM

Good for them, but how much does it cost?
teenitup
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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 2:24:12 PM

>>"So anyone know where there is only 6 hours of darkness year round that anyone would want to live at?<<"

My thoughts as well, especially at these costs!
nybearhunter
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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 2:19:42 PM

Very nice.
Lugi1967
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 2:17:16 PM

Right place for it
335d1
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 2:16:38 PM

Interesting way to keep electricity flowing.
CocoPaz
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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 2:01:15 PM

interesting
bar1035
Champion Author Charlotte

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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 1:56:26 PM

So anyone know where there is only 6 hours of darkness year round that anyone would want to live at?
hmw10284
Champion Author California

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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 1:52:00 PM

If you have a solar array you should also have a home backup system. One company started by the founder of Tesla uses technology engineered by Tesla, leveraging their expertise in developing battery technologies for premium electric vehicles.
Tesla's long history of research and development has enabled a cost-effective, wall-mounted storage appliance that is small, powerful and covered by a long lasting full 10 year warranty. The actual battery unit is about the size of a solar power inverter, and will be mounted on the wall in your garage or near your electrical panel. I am not sure if the battery units can be daisy chained to store more power for off hours but would expect so.

Then you can avoid those stupid $100 per month grid connection fees being proposed now by getting off the grid and storing your excess power for off hours.

Here is an article about it.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-07/battery-stored-solar-power-sparks-backlash-from-utilities.html

Of course as retaliation power companies like PG&E, Edison and Sempra are now trying to punish people who have installed the battery systems and are still connected to the grid by saying the power is unreliable and not clean (hello it is solar people). Anything to screw people.

[Edited by: hmw10284 at 10/12/2013 1:53:47 PM EST]
Night Owl
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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 1:43:08 PM

Sounds great.
Eugenian
Champion Author Oregon

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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 1:38:47 PM


We need more of these.
kag2010
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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 1:34:41 PM

Very interesting
mitt4prez
Champion Author Tacoma

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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 1:17:08 PM

Take the subsidies and regulatory waivers out, and what would happen? Another blowup.
Suzzoom
Champion Author Nevada

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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 1:11:22 PM

Sounds like a good technique. Of course, Arizona gets a lot of sunshine. Wonder if this would work in areas with less sunshine?
lippoe_sokan
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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 1:09:02 PM

Over time, we'll get more and better methods for renewable energy processes.
drpepperTX
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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 1:04:03 PM

A little quick math, that's only about $29,000 per household!
mastermariner
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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 1:01:08 PM

Very interesting
drpepperTX
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 1:00:48 PM

Let's hope this works! $1.45 Billion of our tax dollars are at risk. Almost 75% of the cost of this plant.
DOS
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2013 12:28:44 PM

I'm not really as keen on these sort of Grid level solar plants as I am about distributed generation but its cool that they have figured out how to store some of the energy so that it can also serve "base load" demand. So much for the argument that renewable energy can't provide base load power.

Nice article orphancarguy!
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