Why can DESERT-VISION solar power plants produce electricity 24 hours a day?
One of the major advantages of thermal solar power plants is their ability to operate around the clock - this is called baseload capability. But how is this possible when the sun shines only during the day? The solar fields are dimensioned in such a way that one part of the area provides the energy for current electricity generation, while another part collects the heat energy and stores it in a thermal storage system. At night, when the sun is not shining, the steam turbines draw their energy from the heat stores. Storing heat energy is extremely simple and highly efficient - it is the best, simplest, and most effective form of energy storage - the tile stove principle. Thanks to this storage capability, the power plants become extremely flexible, as electricity generation becomes independent of sunlight exposure. The storage systems not only provide energy at night but also on days when the sun is not shining. This flexibility is the major advantage over most other sustainable technologies such as photovoltaic or wind turbines. These technologies attempt to store their excess energy in extremely expensive batteries, or attempts are made to use hydrogen as a storage medium, resulting in the loss of the vast majority of the energy produced! Thermal solar power plants can operate around the clock. Sometimes this leads to confusion between Solar-Hours and Operating-Hours. Solar-Hours refer to the duration of sunlight over the year, while Operating- Hours are the hours during which a power plant operates over the year. Thus, for example, a thermal solar power plant can have 8,000 Operating-Hours per year, even with 3,000 Solar-Hours.
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