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Which are the industrial processes for which solar thermal can be used as a source of heating or drying?
What is the maximum temperature that can be achieved by solar water heaters? I heard it was not more than 70 degrees. Is that correct?
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The Monarch Lotus has been designed to look like a lotus flower. It is meant to capture the solar energy and aid in generating electricity, providing hot water to small hotels or homes. The lotus is capable of generating 2KW , sufficient for an average household. http://www.monarch-power.com/blog/2012/02/28/introducing-the-monarch-lotus/
This model I made uses old pop cans painted black to dry algae. Filtered algae sludge is fills the pop cans. The pop cans then sit out in the sun for 3 hours, evaporating out the water in the algae to an 8%water content. The dry meal can be used for composters, fertilizer and diesel fuel production. (Every dry kilogram of algae has sequestered 2.2 kilograms of CO2)
Even when you have all the money of Google, you should spend it wisely. The search giant, which invests heavily in renewable energy initiatives, backed off of at least one of them yesterday.
Google said it is dropping development of “solar thermal” electricity because solar thermal cannot keep pace with the rapid price decline of another solar technology – photovoltaics. The solar thermal cut came as part of Google’s decision to axe its 4-year old Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal initiative, although other renewable programs remained intact.
“The installed cost of solar photovoltaic technology has declined dramatically over the past few years, making solar photovoltaic technology a compelling choice for consumers,” Google Fellow and senior vice president of operations Urs Hölzle said in a blog post.
Photovoltaics use solar cells embedded in panels to directly generate electricity. Solar thermal uses mirrors to focus sunlight on a fluid that heats up, creates steam and drives a turbine. It’s also known as “concentrating solar power” (CSP).
Google’s investments in solar thermal have included $168 million in a giant solar farm that Brightsource Energy Inc. is building Ivanpah, Calif., and a $10 million infusion in Burbank, Calif.-based eSolar.
Solar thermal makes a spectacular picture, especially the sort that reflects sunlight up to a tower (some solar thermal plants reflect the light onto pipes that run past parabolic mirrors). But several energy companies have started to back off the technology in favor of photovoltaics, such as at California’s huge Blythe installation. The chairman of Spanish utility giant Iberdrola recently blasted solar thermal as senseless.
Still, other companies are standing by it, noting that it makes sense under certain conditions. It is the centerpiece technology in the Desertec Industrial Initiative’s overarching long term scheme to provide 15 percent of Europe’s electricity from solar farms scattered across N. Africa and the Middle East.
Construction is set to begin on the first of Desertec’s solar thermal plants next year in Morocco, with a $297 million loan from the World Bank.
A third approach to solar, called concentrated photovoltaics (CPV), borrows from both PV and solar thermal, in that it magnifies sunlight onto solar cells.
In canning its solar thermal work, Google is reigning in what some critics have argued was a push too far afield of its core business of Internet search and advertising. As SmartPlanet’s Larry Dignan wrote when Google launched Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal in 2007, “Unless Google is putting ads on windmills it looks like a detour that could make shareholders squirm.”
Google has freely published results of its research in the solar thermal on the web.
Google’s now defunct Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal (RE
Solar Water Heater Economics - http://www.solarfeeds.com/poco-solar-energy/17577-solar-water-heater-economics