Australia's largest concentrating photovoltaic solar plant

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Re: Australia's largest concentrating photovoltaic solar plant

Postby Tracker » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:04 am

.
I think that SMURF has outlined it pretty well, with the different technologies.
I have difficulty in keep up with what I need to, let alone investigating other fields, so I'M NO EXPERT... :lol:

The issue that I see in 2013, when our stupid Governments are divesting themselves of all manner of Infrastructure, is that whoever takes up the challenge will have INVESTORS and demand PROFIT..

When we had the Electricity Commission responsible for ALL power, they could spend whatever is necessary to solve the demand needs.
Clearly Large BASE-LOAD could be running 24/7.. They could employ storage technology, like Super-Heating Molten salt, for rapid steam generation for other times.
Then they could have micro GAS turbines scattered around, keeping demand in balance..

So, you can imagine that a single entity can rationalise the total cost over the needed demand..

Would YOU invest in a plant that only produced power in Off-Peak or Shoulder times..
I would want the absolute maximum profit 24/7.. This is the dilemma that I see and yes , I agree that everyone would like ALL plant to run 24/7..

My concern is that I just don't see BENEVOLENCE rising to the surface and a practical solution found.
I can see industry Fluffing around on the edges and accepting Govt. Grants to make things possible, but unless serious plant is built, we will not progress..

IMHO - the Governments should gear up to provide Base Load, and then allow Commercial Production of the rest, so as to maximise the incentive and the profit, and thus get it done..
Governments are there to serve the people... So be it.. :idea:
..
.
Retired Engineer and keen PV experimenter - Always ready to learn and share.
2 x CMS2000 (fan cooled) GCI and SE 170W panels
1.7kW First Solar/Outback Island circuit - Peak Replacement Power
Governments won't save the world :-) They will just TAX it :-(
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Re: Australia's largest concentrating photovoltaic solar plant

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:05 am

Tracker wrote:Would YOU invest in a plant that only produced power in Off-Peak or Shoulder times..


Plenty do! The expensive to run gas plants are idle most of the time, and only come online during the peak demand periods when the price per MWh rises into the hundreds or thousands of dollars range.

Even the large coal based generators make the majority of their profits in a few tens of hours per year- when the price of electricity heads northwards of $10/kWh ($10000/MWh).

You can watch what is going on in the WA South-West Interconnected System- energy production and price per MWh graphs almost live (updated every 30 mins) here: http://www.imowa.com.au/explore-the-market

AFAIK there isn't a similar page for the NEM, which most of the rest of Australia's population is connected to. although I have not searched for one.
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Re: Australia's largest concentrating photovoltaic solar plant

Postby Smurf1976 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:06 pm

Gordon-Loomberah wrote:AFAIK there isn't a similar page for the NEM, which most of the rest of Australia's population is connected to.

www.aemo.com.au

There are also various other reports and data, some "free" and others a paid for service. There's a government-produced one for Tasmania (the only state with predominantly renewable supply in the grid) here http://www.economicregulator.tas.gov.au ... enDocument
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Re: Australia's largest concentrating photovoltaic solar plant

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:27 pm

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Re: Australia's largest concentrating photovoltaic solar plant

Postby Majik » Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:25 pm

First read about the new Mildura 1.5 MW demo system, now operational, in the Mildura weekly. It is actually at Carwarp, 30kms(?) from Mildura. Planned to be followed within the year by a 100MW system.

What fascinates me is the Dense Array, multi-junction cells originally developed for the space industry (three cells in one).

The current efficiency is said to be greater than 40%, over twice the effectiveness of silicon cells and 4 times thin film cells. Soon to be >50%.

Cell modules are located at the focus of a parabolic dish. Again this is interesting, because who would have thought all the school teaching on parabolas, especially in calculus, would be so real to our daily requirements. Also, the very early solar power arrangements involved a parabolic dish concentrating the heat energy (before P.V. technology existed).

When you look at the relatively low cost of P.V. cells, and consider the low efficiency, just over 20%, and then deal with the relatively high installation cost (it looks quite significant if you contract the installation) you can see why using a more efficient conversion could be quite attractive.

Yes, the parabolic dish and tracking systems can add significantly, but if the big commercial systems benefit from this wonderful technology why wouldn't I like to install the better technology. Surely, it just needs a clever economic adaption on a smaller scale. First to do, first to gain.

The standard debates around payback from the grid remain. But, if you install a new system could it be a Dense Array at the focal point of a parabolic mirror, with tracking. Perhaps, keep it simple and facilitate an easy installation. Hmmm.
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