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Kahaani CSP ki- The story of CSP

Kahaani CSP Ki

The Big Bet in the Energy Space
I was trying to log to the IRCTC site today to book tickets for the CSP Today event. But hard luck…I could not find tickets for any class and it was like Rahul Dravid standing (like a wall) not allowing me to plan for the event. But one thing it meant was either people have become carbon conscious and not taking air route or CSP is a serious and important business for the energy domain today. With Youth leaders like Akhilesh Yadav taking serious note about national issues CSP today is going to be CSP for Tomorrow too.
Concentrated solar power (also called concentrating solar power and CSP) systems use mirrors or lenses to concentrate a large area of sunlight, or solar thermal energy, onto a small area. Electrical power is produced when the concentrated light is converted to heat, which drives a heat engine (usually a steam turbine) connected to an electrical power generator.
CSP is not to be confused with concentrated photovoltaics (CPV). In CSP, the concentrated sunlight is converted to heat, and then the heat is converted to electricity. In CPV, the concentrated sunlight is converted directly to electricity via the photovoltaic effect. CSP is used to produce electricity (sometimes called solar thermoelectricity, usually generated through steam). Concentrated-solar technology systems use mirrors or lenses with tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight onto a small area. The concentrated light is then used as heat or as a heat source for a conventional power plant (solar thermoelectricity). The solar concentrators used in CSP systems can often also be used to provide industrial process heating or cooling, such as in solar air-conditioning.
CSP plants generate electricity from sunlight by focusing solar energy, collected by an array(s) of sun-tracking mirrors called heliostats, onto a central receiver. Liquid salt (a mixture of sodium nitrate and potassium nitrate) is circulated through tubes in the receiver, absorbing the heat energy gathered from the sun. The heated salt is then routed to an insulated tank where it can be stored with minimal energy losses. To generate electricity, the hot molten salt is routed through heat exchangers and a steam generation system. The steam is then used to produce electricity in a conventional steam turbine. After exiting the steam generation system, the now cool salt mixture is circulated back to the “cold” thermal storage tank, and the cycle is repeated.
Concentrating technologies exist in four common forms, namely parabolic trough, dish Stirlings, concentrating linear Fresnel reflector, and solar power tower. Although simple, these solar concentrators are quite far from the theoretical maximum concentration. For example, the parabolic-trough concentration gives about 1/3 of the theoretical maximum for the design acceptance angle, that is, for the same overall tolerances for the system. Approaching the theoretical maximum may be achieved by using more elaborate concentrators based on non imaging optics.
Different types of concentrators produce different peak temperatures and correspondingly varying thermodynamic efficiencies, due to differences in the way that they track the sun and focus light. New innovations in CSP technology are leading systems to become more and more cost-effective.
While CSP technology is not new, it offers one of the most promising utility-scale, and sustainable technology options for meeting India’s energy needs from renewable energy resources. But a large scale is needed to make it more cost effective. Moreover, the Rajasthan desert has the potential to produce solar power at a cost low enough to be competitive with fossil and nuclear power. India needs a plan with the same spirit, boldness and the imagination of the various space programs that India has initiated. The technology is well established and available. All that is needed now to make this concept a reality is political commitment and appropriate investments and funding to harness this renewable solar energy resource. And under the able guidance of MNRE we see India’s solar energy holds great promise. India must accelerate its investment in renewable energy resources, specifically solar and wind energy. It’s evident that the Government of India will take advantage of the vast amounts of energy available from the Rajasthan Desert sun (instead of oil from the Middle EastThe ) to power its future energy needs. In addition, solar energy would not only create millions of jobs, but also sustain India’s positive economic growth, help lift its massive population out of poverty and combat climate change.

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Energy & Technology Update @ Renewable Asia 2012 Bangalore India

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