To improve understanding a few basics:The world hungers for energy.We are exploiting every conceivable fossil resource, with catastrophic consequences.The associated CO2 input into the atmosphere heats up our climate.Experts have long warned of the existential consequences of global warming.With a lot of luck, we still have a few more years to avert the worst.What is the right way out of this dilemma?With the massive expansion of photovoltaics and wind turbines, attempts are being made to replace fossil fuels.This form of energy production has the disadvantage that it fluctuates very strongly - the energy is sometimes high and sometimes low. This is not the way to build a stable, reliable power supply.Every electricity grid needs power plants that supply reliable electricity 24/7 (day and night). These power plants are called base-load power plants. The base-load power plants commonly used today are steam-driven power plants that use different propellants.The propellants used to generate steam can be:•Coal•Brown coal•Gas•Diesel oil•Atomic fissionThe first four fuels are not sustainable, they emit large amounts of CO2into the atmosphere and heat up the climate.Atomic fission is extremely dangerous and has the major problem of final disposal of waste - 1 million years until the lethal radiation has subsided.The consequence is that all these fuels fail for future power supply.How could sustainable CO2-free base-load power plants be operated in the future if they are to replace the huge amount of energy from previous base-load power plants?There is only one answer - Solar Energy!The only solar power plants that are capable of base load are thermal solar power plants.Thermo-solar power plants can guarantee a stable 24/7 power supply.A simple, inexpensive heat storage technology makes electricity production possible even at night.Like any conventional steam power plant, the power generation can be regulated so that they are the ideal supplement for the strongly fluctuating power generation from wind turbines and photovoltaics.Thermo-solar power plants are constructed in a useful way where permanent solar radiation takes place - in the desert.The deserts of our earth receive in 6 hours more energy, as the whole mankind needs in the year.This energy is cost-free, CO2 free for the next billions of years!Thermo-solar power plants with a surplus heat storage tank generate adjustable electricity 24 hours a day and work up to 7.000 hours a year under full load.This is comparable to conventional nuclear power plants.Thermo-solar power plants are therefore not only the only alternative, they are also the ideal alternative.The ideal locations for thermal solar power plants are in the desert. However, deserts are usually far away from places where large amounts of energy are needed.The transmission of large amounts of energy over long distances is no longer a problem.Ultra-high-voltage DC lines today transmit up to 13 GW of power at 1.100 kV (1.100.000 Volts).13 GW corresponds to the output of approx. 13 medium-sized nuclear power plants!Due to the extremely high voltage, the power loss at 3.000 KM is only approx. 12%.Another great advantage of this cable is that the current is transmitted with DC and thus does not generate any radiation.In contrast to pipe lines, the cable is easy to lay and inexpensive to operate as it is not subject to any maintenance costs.This form of power transmission makes power production locally independent of the power consumer.A very interesting question is - how much space does it take to generate electricity in the desert with thermosolar power plants for the whole world or for the whole of Europe?In the short film you can see how surprisingly small the required areas are.
System Comparison:At the moment, trough power plants and tower power plants are mainly used.Trough power plants consist of mirror fields from mirror troughs that track the sun.The receiver pipe is located in the concentration line. In this, thermal oil or water vapour circulates.The steam then drives a steam turbine again in the classic way.The problems of a trough power plant:•As you can see very impressively on the picture, the effort to build such trough-shaped mirrors is very high. The mirror substructure has to be extremely stiff without becoming too heavy, because the mirrors have to be turned around their longitudinal axis to follow the sun.•The fact that the mirror precision is only very inadequate can be seen from the distortions on the mirror surface. A high precision of the mirrors is a task that can hardly be solved even during assembly, without external loads such as wind.•In addition, there are the extreme maintenance costs associated with large solar fields.•No automatic monitoring of the mirror fields, whether mirrors are destroyed, dirty or de-focused.•The picture shows - the cleaning of the huge mirror field is a real challenge and a real Sisyphus work. A complete cleaning of the gutter mirrors is prevented by the centrally arranged, sensitive and expensive receiver tubes.•Cleaning is not only a permanent expense, but also the consumption of fuel for the cleaning vehicles and very decisively the consumption of large quantities of demineralized water. Demineralized water is necessary so that there are no mineral deposits on the mirrors, which would burn on the surface in the intense sun.•Trough power plants require huge areas of land that have to be fenced against vandalism - a fence that could also keep the direct wind away from the plant would be better.•The mirror constructions are the neuralgic points; this increases disproportionately with increasing operating time and size.•The trough power plants are very expensive to manufacture, assemble and operate. •The problems are system related and can certainly be reduced by high quantities, but they are system immanent.Thermo-Solar-Tower-Power PlantsTower power station - many so-called heliostats are erected around a receiver tower set up in the middle,here 140m high. Heliostats are flat mirrors that are mounted on a mechanism that constantly tracks theposition of the sun and thus focuses the sunlight on a point at the top of the tower. The concentrated solar radiation is directed in such a way that it hits the receiver at the head of the tower. Up to 1,000° Celsius is generated at the receiver, this heat generates steam that classically drives a steam turbine.The problems of a tower power plants:•The life span of the Receivers is quite limited, since the extreme warmth leads to fast material wear.•Numerous heliostats must be built around the tower. In this power station, for example, there are 300,000 mirrors.•These mirrors are not static, but they have to be guided very precisely towards the sun, for this you need a very stiff supporting structure on which the mirrors are mounted. •Each of these mirrors needs a very complex sun tracking system, which the heliostats exactly follow the sun - and that means for each heliostat, an extremely complex mechanics.•High maintenance effort, since the many thousands of individual Heliostats are always subject to electronic and mechanical failures. This increases exponentially with the age of the system. The conditions in the desert are very bad for precise and complex mechanics.•High maintenance and cleaning costs for hundreds of thousands of heliostat mirrors - extreme consumption of demineralized water - where there is no water.•The Heliostats stand on a "mono-foot", which has to absorb all loads, especially wind loads, without de-adjusting.•Desert storms are a real challenge for heliostats, in two respects, on the one hand the wind loads and on the other hand the high abrasion on the mirrors by the sand, which rubs with high dynamics over on the mirrors.Trough power plants and tower power plants have mirror systems that are too expensive to manufacture, assemble and maintain.The life span of the complicated filigree mirror systems does not correspond to the long depreciation period that thermal solar power plants need to be profitable.In order to improve the system related problems, one tries to improve the efficiency of the trough and tower power plants.One way is to increase the temperature at the receiver, but this is at the expense of the cost and life of the heat-carrying systems.High-tech materials are always needed to cope with extreme temperatures.The service life of the materials is considerably shortened by the extreme temperatures.It is tried with more and more high-tech to optimize the mirror systems, but this does not eliminate the basic problems, as already described.We're going the exact opposite way.We are of the opinion that the mirror systems must be inexpensive in manufacture, construction and maintenance. In addition, they must be absolutely robust, with an extreme service life. If the mirror systems have all these advantages, you don't need an optimized efficiency, because the decisive factor is the nominal output of the power plant. If the efficiency is somewhat lower, the inexpensive mirror field is simply built somewhat larger so that the nominal power is achieved.