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01
SEP
2016

Solar Thermal Efficiency World Record Broken

Energy efficiency is becoming big business with more and more companies being urged to implement new and effective energy saving devices, as well as making sure that their workforce are fully aware of sustainability systems and procedures.

The ability for a business to be able to not only conserve energy but even in some cases generate their own has become particularly fruitful for companies who now receive government based financial rewards and incentives for doing so. Not only that but developers and innovators have seen just how financially beneficial such energy efficient measures can be in most major industries.

Solar Dish

 

Scientists based at the Australian National University in Canberra have managed to create and develop a special solar thermal dish which has incredibly set a new world record for efficiency. The dish itself generates steam for power stations and it has managed to reach a 97% rate of conversion adapting regular sunlight directly into steam.

The ANU Research School of Engineering team have halved energy losses through its new solar concentrator dish receiver, meaning that it has overtaken standard commercial systems by around 7%.

Of course, as expected, this breakthrough has obviously already gained much interest from the commercial sector keen to develop the system for other industries looking to achieve higher levels of energy efficiency.

Traditionally most solar thermal systems utilise a number of reflectors in order to absorb sunlight which can then be converted into steam , this is then able to power common power station turbines. When united with heat storage systems it can be used to generate power and energy at a much lower cost than typical solar-based energy. This is because solar energy normally relies on special photovoltaic panels where the energy is actually stored within batteries.

This newly designed dish system could ultimately have a 10% reduction over the standard cost of solar thermal electricity which the ANU team aspiring to get the overall cost down to just 12 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity.

The solar concentrator measures in at 500 square metres which when water is pumped through the receiver sees it heated to around 500 degrees Celsius. The water is able to hit a peak temperature in deep cavities found within the innovative new receiver which also helps minimise any potential heat loss, and heat that may be loss can than simply be reabsorbed by cooler water located around the brim.

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