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Utility Scale Solar Power

July 03, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 188

Utility scale solar power pertains to large power plants and solar farms to generate and supply power to many users. It is enjoyed by US states like Nevada, Arizona and California and in southern parts of Europe and Asian countries. Utility Scale Solar Power brings clean and dependable power for homes and establishments including residential, commercial and industrial users. Since time in memorial, solar energy has been there and in the past decades it has moved forward to the point that it is now possible to generate power in sunny areas supplying commercial solar power on a large scale, enough to power communities.

There are two primary categories of solar energy: Solar thermal and solar photovoltaic (PV) cells.

1. Solar thermal. The sun warms a fluid to generate steam which is used to drive a steam turbine and generator to produce electric power. In utility scale projects, mirrors can be used to accurately concentrate the sun's light more intensely to produce heat.

2. Photovoltaic cells. PV cells use a semiconductor to absorb the sun's energy and convert it to electric power. The most common semiconductor material being used for solar cells is silicon. The moment the silicon semiconductor absorb sunlight, the energy is then released into the semiconductor as electrons. The free electrons which are bouncing haphazardly create consumable energy when they begin to move in the same direction through an electrical field. This process creates electrical current that can be used to power houses, equipment and appliances.

Photovoltaic solar cells must be combined in order for utility energy to come from a solar array. Concentrated PV technologies installed as linked cells can use a multi junction system to join the cells creating a significant increase in the energy output.

Small PV applications include powering up a flashlight, garden lights, calculator, cell phones, street signs and small hydro pumps. For midsize uses, PV use includes powering up a part of a home, farm equipment or big box stores. For large scale uses, it can be used as central power plants.

In many ways, energy efficiency for commercial solar power has improved. Fresnel lenses are used to increase the energy collection and output efficiently. These lenses are the same as the ones being used in theater lighting and video projectors. The lenses focus on large quantities of sunlight into the concentrated PV cells and increase the energy output efficiently. Additional components are required in order to track the position of the sun in relation to the PV solar array. This positions the arrays in the best direction and location to absorb the sun's rays, thus increasing the system's efficiency.

Utility scale solar power for large uses is new and constantly developing, allowing more general interests and governmental focus. Modern technology have come up with many solar technologies making it possible for commercial solar power meet its needs or even increasing to fuel an entire city.

ReTech Power and Water Engineering specializes in leading edge renewable energy development, with a history of tackling some of the most challenging engineering problems of the day. Our global experience spans 35 years of diverse project engagement and positions us perfectly to address the current thrust into the much needed renewable energy development of today. For more information on renewable energy, visit our website at http://www.retecheng.com

Source: EzineArticles
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