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Concentrated Solar Thermal Power

Concentrated Solar Thermal Power

Solar thermal harness or collects solar energy by utilizing solar radiation to generate heat – as hot water, hot air, steam etc. that can be deployed in numerous applications in different sectors such as power generation on large scale, space heating, space cooling, community cooking, process heating

Solar energy collectors

  • Solar energy collectors works as heat exchangers that transform solar radiation energy to internal energy of the transport medium ( or heat transfer fluid – air / water / oil ). 
  • Therefore the solar energy is carried out from the circulating fluid either directly to the hot water or space conditioning equipment or thermal energy storage tank which can be drawn for use at night or cloudy days.
  • Solar thermal system depends on the application, temperature required and economic visibility. It may be

( 1 ) Concentrating types or Non – concentrating types

( 2 ) Stationary or Sun tracking mechanism

Concentrated solar thermal power

  • concentrated solar power ( CSP ) technology use systems of mirrored concentrators to focus direct beam solar radiation to receivers. 
  • The energy from the concentrated sunlight heats a high temperature fluid in the receiver. 
  • The heat energy ( thermal energy ) can be used to run turbine for generation of electricity.

Solar field

  • It converts solar energy into thermal energy

Heat storage

  • Stores thermal energy using molten salt as a heat storage medium

Power block

  • It generated electricity through a steam turbine with steam produced by solar energy.


Configuration of Solar concentrated

Parabolic trough

Linear Fresnel reflector

Parabolic dish

Central receiver tower with parabolic tough


Application of solar thermal

  • Solar thermal systems have the flexibility of being used for off grid applications also. 
  • Industrial process heat ( IPH ) applications below 250 degree C for example contribute to about 15 to 20% of India’s total oil consumption therefore it provides tremendous potential in the field of off grid solar thermal applications. 
  • It can be used in various applications like water desalination, enhanced oil recovery, food processing, chemical production, and mineral processing. 

Solar Water Heating System

  • A solar water heater consists of collector to trap that heat energy of sun rays by use of suitable coating. 
  • The heat is transferred to riser pipes or tubes so that water through the tubes gets heated and is delivered to storage tank. 
  • The solar collector, storage tank and pipelines is called as solar water heating system. 
  • The hot water temperature can be raised up to 800 degree by re – circulation of same water through collector. 
The key strategy is

  • To make solar heater mandatory through building bye law with incorporation of national building codes
  • To ensure effective mechanism for certification / rating of manufacturers
  • To promote thermal applications through local agencies / power utilities

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