SUNNY energy even at night? This is the beginning of a new era of humanity. Revolutionary Plan of California - 33% of all energy from the sun and wind in 5 years (!). States continues skyrocketing increase capacity alternative power trying to provide one-third of the total power consumption by the sun, wind and geysers by 2020. And now in the ranks next megaelektrostantsiya. Another, but not simple: it is the largest worldwide solar station. It will generate power for 140,000 homes, while she does this, even after sunset. How? Meet Ivanpa Solar Electric Systems. Let's take a closer look, how things work and how it threatens us all.
2. The station is located in Ivanpa Solar Mojave Desert, a 3-hour drive east of Los Angeles. Its construction was carried out for about three years, worth 2 billion 200 million dollars, and then, finally, in the spring of 2014 she was commissioned. The station produces absolutely clean energy, without the need to burn a fuel either. The energy drawn from the sun, but it is produced even after sunset (!). Note the three towers surrounded by thousands of mirrors - they are all secret.
3. The station uses Ivanpa not already familiar solar panels (photovoltaic modules), which unfortunately can not work in the dark. Instead, they use a completely conventional mirrors, like those that hang in our home with you. Why?
4. Each mirror module - a system of two large size mirror with garage door. Called a module - heliostat. At the station of heliostats 173,000.
5. All of these mirrors, heliostats to reflect the sun's rays onto the top of the very tall towers, three are in tsetre. Each heliostat is movable, and with a computer all the heliostats 170 000 Total rotate the sun. Thus, the sun's rays fall on the top of the towers constantly, until the sun went below the horizon.
6. As you might have guessed, on top of the towers are boilers with liquid, which on heating is converted into steam. Exactly the same boilers is familiar to all CHP, but there they are heated by burning gas or coal. Here only the inexhaustible energy of the sun! Incidentally, the total capacity of the plant Ivanpa Solar - 392 megawatts. To be clear, this is comparable to the average of the Moscow HPP (HPP-16, for example in the area Khoroshevo-Mnevniki working gas, produces 360 megawatts).
7. The higher the tower, the more you can put around the mirror. These towers are very large - as tall as a 50 storey building (148 meters). At the peak of the day the boiler can heat up to 700 degrees or more. The steam goes down to the turbine and rotates it - generate electricity. Just! This is called the principle behind solar thermal power generation. But what happens after sunset?
8. The great advantage of solar thermal power plants over conventional solar cells is the ability to store excess energy, and means to work after sunset. If you just explain, some of the steam is injected into the temporary depots and gradually discharged from there after sunset continuing to twist the turbine. The graph shows how this happens. Thus part of the plant stores energy during the day and spends the night on this stock, making the cycle around the clock.
9. An interesting feature of the program is the construction of the plant protection ecology around it. Yes, the station itself is absolutely harmless - a conventional mirror heating boiler. But its construction threatened the rare species of turtles living in the desert. Therefore, the company owning the station held a special program: a vast territory was bought on the side of the station, which was relocated about 200 rare turtles. The program cost the company $ 22 million that was spent on the purchase of land, hiring biologists and relocation unique animals.
10. In conclusion, I want to say that 33% of energy from alternative sources in California by 2020 - a colossal figure. Who does not know the GDP of California - 2, $ 2 trillion, exceeding the GDP of most countries on the planet. This is even more powerful than that of such countries as Russia, Italy, India, Canada, Australia or Spain. Energy need much, very much! And now witnessing a revolution of alternative energy. Media and analysts are officially declared open the era of alternative energy. Solar panels fell sharply and sold in the ordinary urban stores. According to TIME magazine every 3 minutes at least 1 US House passes on the energy of the sun setting on the roof panel and the dynamics are increasing. The Government strongly supports alternative energy, interest-free loans on the panel for the common people, the special law obliges buy alternative energy for large companies. According to the same TIME 90% of new generating plants commissioned in the US in 2014 - solar power. All this has led to the fact that the amount of harmful emissions in the US have already fallen by 17% since 2005. Ivanpa Solar - only one of seven very large solar power plants just put into operation in California. Also introduces wind and geothermal. Introduction to the structure of one of the station from the atmosphere equivalent to removing 400,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. And this, as if from the road immediately disappeared 77,000 smoky atmosphere of cars. This is happening today, it is a reality, it is the usual modern technology.
PS: Look at the beautiful views of this station and the night in Los Angeles, which consumes its clean energy in this beautiful video.