With the high rate of global warming continuously emanating from products used in generating electricity like coal, the world has diversified the search for electricity generation from ecofriendly options. Concentrating Solar Power is one of the best sustainable options of acquiring energy from sun rays using clean mirrors placed at specific angles in hot regions of the world.
From the point of no greenhouse emissions and the possibility of producing cheap electricity, CSP is not only environmentally friendly by protecting the global climate, but also economically sustainable. Fossil fuels energy remains the major emitter of CO2 into the environment; it also uses non-recyclable products as opposed to CSP, which uses inexhaustible sunlight rays and recyclable parabolic mirrors.
Recent commitments by government agencies and environmental organizations could see CSP provide 7% of usable power by 2030. In encouraging CSP, governments should offer investment incentives and tax holidays to firms that intend to set-up such environmental projects. This move, coupled with improved operations, research, and development, and competition among firms, lower the generation and supply cost of solar power.
Even though a CSP plant requires high initial cost, the cost-benefit analysis of the project from a long-term perspective reveals the low operational price, albeit a constant generation of electricity. For maximum and efficient output, the project only requires unperturbed sunrays and a dry or wet cooling system at the terminals of the turbine cycle.
Point focusing systems can produce working temperatures of over 1,000 0C, while line systems can achieve operating temperatures of up to 550 0C after concentrating radiation close to 100 times. Line systems have parabolic troughs and linear fresnel systems, while point focusing system has central receivers and parabolic dishes, as commercial technologies.
Thermal oil is preferable as a heat transfer fluid (HTF) in parabolic trough system as it produces superheated steam at high pressure, thus increasing efficiency.
An example of this project is the Shams 1 project, which has been using booster heaters to adjust steam temperatures from 380 0C to 540 0C to generate more electricity. CSP is an environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative for generating electricity for the present and future generation.