Abengoa's Gigantic ‘Salt Battery' Stores Utility-Scale Solar Energy

The global solar company Abengoa Solar has just announced that its massive Solana solar power plant has begun commercial operation in Arizona. The plant represents a transformational breakthrough in utility scale solar power, because it includes an energy storage system based on molten salt. The storage feature enables the plant to keep generating electricity long after the sun goes down.

CSPs use mirrors to concentrate solar energy on a focal point, typically a large tower. According to Abengoa, at 280 megawatts the Solana plant is the world’s largest CSP plant to use parabolic trough mirrors to concentrate solar energy (typical CSP mirrors, called heliostats, are flat and quadrilateral).

It is also the first solar plant in the U.S. with thermal energy storage, in the form of a molten salt system. The storage capacity is about six hours. That enables the plant to keep generating electricity from solar energy well into the early evening hours, when demand in the region typically peaks out.

Solana officially went online yesterday after completing a series of tests that included charging the thermal energy storage system and demonstrating that it could produce electricity for six hours using only stored energy.

Comments (0)

This post does not have any comments. Be the first to leave a comment below.


Post A Comment

You must be logged in before you can post a comment. Login now.

Featured Product

Joyce Dayton Corp - Solar Tracking Jack Solutions

Joyce Dayton Corp - Solar Tracking Jack Solutions

Joyce Solar Jacks are specifically designed for heavy-duty solar tracking applications. Available in machine screw and ball screw models, these cost effective and efficient jacks precisely position loads at speeds typical of solar tracking applications. Configurations are available to meet individual customer tracking and positioning requirements. These jacks are designed for outdoor applications and built to stand up to environmental challenges found at solar installations around the world. Specifications: * Ideal for larger loads, 2 tons to 30 tons * Available in acme screw or ball screw * Suitable for utility or commercial installations * Integral trunnion mount * Long life/low maintenance design * Built to ISO 9001:2008 Standards. Joyce delivers more than the finished product. Quality is built into the whole process from expert engineering support during design conception to top-notch customer support after shipment. Contact Joyce for the products and support you need.