‘Emerging Technologies’ is adapted from Technology Review, Inc. highlighting the new emerging technologies in Spain. Spain is fast becoming a leader in innovation and generating advanced solutions in the industries .The country is determined to deepen and intensify its productive specialization in industries that depend on technology and innovation.
Researchers are creating novel types of photovoltaic devices that could finally make solar power a broadly practical source of renewable energy in Spain. At the Solucar solar plant outside Seville, the light rays are coming out of a high tower and falling on tilted upturned mirrors. The truth of the situation is that the upturned mirrors are tracking the sun and radiating its power onto a blindingly white square at the top of the tower creating the equivalent of the power of 600 suns. This tower uses concentrating solar technology (CSP). Solar thermal energy is a technology which harnesses solar energyfor thermal energyrequirement in industries, residential sector and commercial setup. It works by utilizing heat of the sun.
Spanish companies and research centers are taking the lead in the revival of CSP. Its installation is quite expensive. Hence, it is effective only in a large scale. At the same time, the photovoltaic system is growing exponentially huge which converts the energy of lightdirectly into electricityby the photovoltaic effect. Spanish companies are investing huge in photovoltaic fields and investigate the next generation of this technology in its large production. In contrast, a solar thermal collectorsupplies heat by absorbing sunlight, for the purpose of either direct heating or indirect electrical power generation. CSP has until recently cost nearly twice as much as traditional natural gas or coal power plants, and it is efficient only on large scale.
The most common technology so far, is based on the series of parabolic troughs, huge curved mirrors about 18 feet wide that collects the sun’s rays and focuses it on a receiver’s pipe in the middle. Oil streams through that pipe along a loop of troughs. The mirrors slowly track the sun from the east to west during daytime hours, and the oil reaches about 400oc which is transferred to a steam generator for the production of electricity by running a turbine. The tower technology works on the same principle as the troughs – the sun’s heat –but uses curved mirrors called heliostats. It directs the sun’s light to a central receiver at the top of the tower. The engineering behind such a plant takes into account both the need to heat up the receiver and the importance of moderating the energy directed at it. The tower in the Solucar plant is also provided by a small amount of natural gas in a rainy or cloudy weather prevents the plant’s full operation.
Spain would like to jump-start the production of Solar Energy with its advanced research and would like to be the first in the local to global access to the necessary technology.