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The World’s Largest Concentrated Solar Power Plant Soaks Up the Sun in Abu Dhabi: EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS

Posted By Tafline Laylin On January 21, 2013 @ 5:15 pm In carousel showcase,clean tech,energy efficiency,Features,Renewable Energy,Solar Power | No Comments

Masdar, Shams 1, world's largest solar power plant, parabolic trough technology, clean tech, renewable energy, solar power, abu Dhabi, masdar, Shams Power company, Masdar Clean Energy, clean energy, alternative energy, renewable energy, sustainable development, green design

The parabolic trough collectors [5] track the sun from morning to night and concentrate sunlight onto embedded tubes carrying a heat transfer fluid. This fluid, which consists of synthetic oil mostly, hits the system at roughly 300 degrees celsius. Once heated by the sun, the temperature rises to approximately 400 degrees before it is passed through a natural gas-powered [6] booster that literally boosts the temperature by an additional 140 degrees, thereby substantially increasing efficiency. This heat is eventually used to boil water that generates steam that powers a conventional steam turbine.

Located 120 km southwest of Abu Dhabi, Shams 1 was so situated in order to make use of existing energy infrastructure. Additionally it is close to natural gas production facilities, which made it easy to incorporate this fuel into the overall system. While the plant is not designed to run on natural gas [7], the plant will always run at 100MW capacity even if substantial cloud cover reduces the parabolic collectors’ productivity.

The system is currently generating energy, but is not yet feeding energy into the national grid. We talked to Masdar’s Clean Energy Director Bader Saeed Al Lamki, who said at the time that the plant was launched, this technology seemed like the most reasonable option. Since then, the price of photovoltaic technology has decreased, he added, though he also notes that the best policy is to ensure an energy mix since there are trade offs to each technology. To illustrate this, he pointed out that Spain’s Gemasolar Power Plant [8], of which Masdar is a partner, runs around the clock due to storage facilities that PV technology can’t supply. A $6000 million investment, Shams 1 will contribute to Abu Dhabi’s overall goal to supply 7% of its energy with renewables by 2020.

+ Shams Power Company [9]

All images by Tafline Laylin for Inhabitat

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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/exclusive-photos-of-the-worlds-largest-concentrated-solar-power-plant/

URLs in this post:

[1] Shams 1, the world's largest single unit Concentrated Solar Power plant: http://inhabitat.com/tag/shams-1/

[2] Clean Development Mechanism: http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/mechanisms/clean_development_mechanism/items/2718.php

[3] Abengoa Solar: http://inhabitat.com/index.php?s=abengoa

[4]  : http://inhabitat.com/exclusive-photos-of-the-worlds-largest-concentrated-solar-power-plant/shams-1-lead-2/?extend=1

[5] The parabolic trough collectors: http://inhabitat.com/tag/parabolic-trough/

[6] natural gas-powered: http://inhabitat.com/new-study-shows-natural-gas-is-a-bridge-fuel-to-nowhere/

[7] run on natural gas: http://inhabitat.com/tag/natural-gas/

[8] Spain’s Gemasolar Power Plant: http://inhabitat.com/video-gemasolar-plant-in-spain-is-the-worlds-first-24hr-solar-plant/

[9] + Shams Power Company: http://www.shamspower.ae/en/sustainability/solar-power-csp/history

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