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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Gemasolar Power Plant: First Plant to produce electricity at night.

Crude oil is one of the biggest sources of energy generation in the world. But there are only a few countries around the world who have enriched oil resources. All the other countries have to import oil to meet the requirements of energy, which of course require huge sum of money. Usage of oil all over the world has also enhance the danger of global warming. That's the reason why countries are looking for a replacement that is less costly and more favorable.

There are many replacements that are being worked upon which include Bio Fuel, Solar Energy and Air. Once Bio Fuel was being considered the natural replacement for oil but now due to the rise of temperatures all over the world solar energy has taken the top seat. Not only for domestic but solar energy is being used for industrial purposes as well. There are many huge Solar Energy Farms, or Solar Energy Stations that have been constructed which use sunlight to produce electricity. 

A similar Solar Power Plant has been constructed near Seville in Southern Spain which has been named 'Gemasolar Power Plant'. Spread across 185 hectares of rural land it has 2650 solar panels. The speciality of this power plant is that its the first solar power plant of the world which produces electricity at night.

It looks like a giant art project. It is symmetrical, circular pattern of mirrored panels. The electricity is produced by the modern technique. The mirrors - known as heliostats - focus 95 per cent of the sun's radiation onto a giant receiver at the centre of the plant. The heat of up to 900C is used to warm molten salt tanks, which create steam to power the £260million station's turbines. But, unlike all other solar power stations, the heat stored in these tanks can be released for up to 15 hours overnight, or during periods without sunlight.

Southern Spain is a place where sunshine most of the day and less rain also is an advantage so electricity generation can can be continued even at night without any interruption. According to one estimate this power plant can provide electricity for 270 days a year which is three times the other power generation sources. 

The project, a joint venture between Abu Dhabu energy company Masdar and Spanish engineering firm SENER called Torresol Energy, took two years to construct at a cost of £260million. It is expected to produce 110 GWh/year - enough to power 25,000 homes in the Andalucia region.

Help taken from Daily Mail, Uk and Daily Express, Pakistan.


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