Power-Plant comparison: Brown-Coal power plant vs DESRT-VISION multifunctional solar power plant Thermo-solar power plants are steam power plants in principle. Steam at 550° Celsius drives steam turbines, which drive generators that produce electricity. Steam power plants differ in the way the steam is generated. In coal-fired power plants, steam is generated by burning hard- or brown coal. In nuclear power plants, the steam is generated via nuclear splitting. In thermo-solar power plants, the heat is generated via the concentration of solar energy. In thermo-solar power plants, an important component is added - heat storage. The heat accumulators are an absolute necessity in order to generate electricity with the thermo-solar power plants even at night. The mirror fields are therefore designed in such a way that they can operate the turbines and charge the heat accumulators at the same time. At night, the turbines are operated from the energy storage units. In this way, a thermo-solar power plant becomes a base-load power plant that generates electricity 24/7 (24 hours / 7 days a week). Base-load power plants are the "backbone" of a stable electricity supply; without them, the electricity grids would collapse. Base-load power plants compensate for the highly fluctuating electricity input from wind turbines and photovoltaics. These unpredictable electricity systems are not possible without base- load power plants. The decisive difference between steam power plants is the generation of heat for the steam. We will demonstrate how extremely important this difference is in a concrete example, between an existing brown-coal power plant and a still fictitious DV multifunctional thermal-solar power plant. „Neurath“ brown coal power plant: Germany's largest power plant. Net capacity ≈ 4GW el Annual pollutant input into the atmosphere: Carbon dioxide (CO2) 31,300,000 tonnes. Nitrogen oxides (NOx/NO2) 21,700 tonnes Carbon monoxide (CO) 7,170 tonnes Sulphur dioxide (as SOx/SO2) 5,570 tonnes Fine dust 483 tonnes And many more Cooling via cooling tower fed from open-pit groundwater Water consumption 1.8 litres/kW/h ≈ 4GWel power means: 4GW = 4 million kW x ≈ 7,000h/pa. running time = 28'000'000kW/h 28'000'000'000kW/h x 1.8litres / kW/h = 50'400'000'000litres ≙ 50'400'000 m 3 /pa groundwater that is steamed into the sky via the cooling towers and permanently missing from the groundwater! In times of falling groundwater levels, this is absolutely no longer acceptable! Brown-Coal from the nearby open-cast brown-coal mine "Garzweiler“ Area of the opencast mine ≈ 66km 2 Annual brown-coal yield 40 million tonnes Annual mining overburden 125 million tonnes Employees ≈ 1,700 DESRT-VISION multifunctional solar power plant To have a vivid comparison with the brown-coal power plant, we describe it on a feasible fiction. We call it the "DESRT-VISION Project Almeria"  The province of Almeria in Spain is one of Spain's driest areas and yet millions of tonnes of vegetables are grown there under 350km 2 of plastic tents. The groundwater level has dropped so low that the groundwater is becoming saline. To maintain production, fresh water is produced in sea-water desalination factories using fossil energy. The entire cultivation of millions of tons of vegetables is done under very questionable environmental conditions. Here is a fantastic opportunity to help the vegetable farmers and at the same time generate huge amounts of energy and fresh water. Here a short „thought model“: If one were to remove the entire 350km 2 of plastic greenhouses and replace them with a sturdy DESRT-VISION mirror field, it would not be necessary to replace the tattered plastic tarps every 4 years. With a 350km 2 DESRT-VISION mirror field, one could not only produce the usual crop quantity, but in addition: ≈ 21GW el of electricity - the equivalent of 21 medium nuclear power plants. The daily seawater desalination capacity ≈ 2.3 million m 3 The annual seawater desalination capacity ≈ 840 million m 3 Back to our power plant comparison - Fossil vs. Thermo-Solar To generate ≈ 4GW el of power, we need a mirror field of 8kmx8km = 64km 2 . This power plant would be built in 4 stages a 4Km x 4km. After complete construction, the "Almeria - Power Plant" would be: ≈ 4GWel of power (24/7) - equivalent to the output of 4 medium nuclear power plants. ≈ 440.000 m 3 of freshwater daily in one year ≈ 160 million m 3 annually this corresponds to the amount of ≈ 4 million tank trucks. ≈ 6,400ha of stable greenhouse for vegetable cultivation. The entire region would have enough, with about 10% of the freshwater produced, to supply all the growing areas with good, cheap freshwater without further damaging the groundwater. The groundwater level could recover in the long term, allowing vegetation to recover. The remaining 90% fresh water could be used to supply the surrounding towns. In the province of Almeria, desertification is progressing at an alarming rate, which could also be prevented with the fresh water produced. Comparison of the two power plants: Conclusion: This comparison shows impressively what future power plants must look like!
The blue square corresponds to the mirror surface for a 4GW el DESRT-VISION thermal solar power plant, true to scale.
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