Thursday, January 22, 2009

Solar power plants

Solar power plants
Solar energy is the energy source of the future. The sun provides more then enough power for the entire world. It is one of the most promising renewable energy sources in the world. It is non-polluting, has no moving parts that could break down, requires little maintenance and no supervision, and has a life of 20-30 years with low running costs. It is especially unique because no large-scale installation is required. Remote areas can easily produce their own supply of electricity by constructing as small or as large of a system as needed. Solar power generators are simply distributed to homes, schools, or businesses, where their assembly requires no extra development or land area and their function is safe and quiet. As communities grow, more solar energy capacity can be added, "thereby allowing power generation to keep in step with growing needs without having to overbuild generation capacity as is often the case with conventional large scale power systems. The world's current largest solar power facility covers more than 1,000 acres near Kramer Junction, California. The facility can produce up to 150 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 150,000 homes:

A couple of miles east is another big solar power plant of the same type. Another big one in North
America is nellis solar plant near Las Vegas which is yet the biggest photovoltaic solar power plant in the world. The energy generated will support more than 12,000 military and civilians at the Nellis air force base nearby and a lot of homes. This power plant is not yet visible in google maps because the image coverage of this area was from before it was build. But it is already completed and in use:

This plant in America might now be the biggest Photovoltaic power plant but there are a lot of solar fields being build in spain at the moment. A lot of these will be much bigger then this one.
Here is one of such big solar fields being build in Spain at the moment.

Other big solar fields can be seen in germany. Which is a leading country in solar energy with a lot of projects in this industry. One of the largest in the world and currently still under construction is the Waldpolenz solar park near leipzig. When completed in 2009, this will be one of the world's largest PV plants at 40 MW. The array will cover an area 2km long by 600m wide at a former military airfield near Leipzig:

The Solarpark gut Erlasse in Arnstein in Bayern also belongs to the biggest in the world. Solarpark Gut Erlasse is a 12 MW solar electric plant located in a working agricultural field and can serve the electricity needs of thousands of customers each year:

A very special solar field is located near Seville in Spain. This is Europe's first commercial concentrating PS10 solar power tower and the largest of this type in the world.
Each of the mirrors has a surface measuring 120 square meters (1,290 square feet) that concentrates the Sun's rays to the top of a 115 meter (377 foot) high tower where a solar receiver and a steam turbine are located. The turbine drives a generator, producing electricity:

Solar power plants are being developed all over the world, but none is bigger than the one planned to be built in Victoria State in Australia. According to Treasurer Peter Costello the Australian government will spend $420 million Australian ($320 million US) to construct this solar power plant. The plant, which will be built in Victoria state, will have a capacity of 154 megawatts and will be built over the next several years, with a completion date set for 2013. This future solar power plant will look something like this:

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