Operating Experience of a 20kW Rooftop Solar Power Plant
Human efforts are always intended to harness solar energy; many options are suggested and investigated. It is urgent need to develop a renewable technology to overcome environmental issues to reduce carbon footprint. Solar energy is having largest potential to cater all the energy demand if effectively conserved. The central receiver system (CRS) concept is an attractive method to achieve high concentration of solar radiation for electrical power generation, and other applications, on a large-scale. It uses heliostats consist of reflective mirrors, which track the sun and reflect it, as well as concentrate it up to 1000 times to a central receiver located at the focal point atop a high tower. The solar flux heats a heat transfer medium in the receiver, typically to temperatures up to a range of 600°C. This technology has to face the challenges as the solar energy is intermittent and dilute in nature. Sun tracking and collection of solar energy and finally, the large scale storage of thermal energy is the major issues to be solved. The design and operating challenges are discussed in this paper with experimental proof. These results will be useful to guide for future large scale plant design.