Generating Solar power 24/7 (even at night)
I came across this video which is about a new technology that generates electricity using solar energy 24/7 (even at night).
I did a report some time ago outlining the potential of the power towers as they're called. And while it's relatively expensive right now (but not by much, charging 13.5 cents a kWh in Las Vegas in 2013), over the next couple years when heliostat prices decrease due economies of scale, we're looking at 4-6 cents per kWh. Some really cool technology. Looking forward to these new greener cheap energy projects to power our houses.
So what do you think? Is it too early for us to think about concentrated solar power plants?
We are having a hard time understanding how you can get solar power when the sun is down (unless you are a satellite in orbit? ) . I know from talking to ovshinsky (inventor of NIMH "improved" large scale electric car battery (used in GM's EV1 see "who killed electric car video" and the inventor of the very successful solar "shingle for housing roofs, that the solar shingle will work in the rain, (he's in the documentary with Alan Alda showing him with an umbrella in the rain holding a very lightweight solar shinge (no heavy glass enclosure needed) what was running a radio or a fan.. but no light is no light... so please explain how solar can work without the sun? thanks.
Watch the video he gives a link to.
I'll give away the ending, The solar array makes more energy than it converts to electricity during the daylight hours. The extra energy is stored as heat in a giant insulated reservoir. The heat is extracted at night to continue generating electricity. It is a similar idea to storing excess electricity generated by solar panels using batteries and then letting the batteries release the energy at night. The difference- no batteries and no photovoltaic. They use heliostats and a giant insulated tank. Just like a giant solar water heater with a big hot water storage tank.