martes, 25 de octubre de 2011

Andasol: The largest thermo solar park of Europe operating now in Granada, Spain.

In a plain near the Sierra Nevada in Granada, Spain, a spectacular complex of parabolic mirrors has emerged in recent years, which track the sun from east to west, every day. For the focus of each group of mirrors, or collector, through a special glass tube, oil circulates whose temperature is increased from 300 to 400 degree temperature along the circuit due to concentrating sunlight on it, and then it gives up the heat to the water that, in the form of steam, drives a turbine. So solar energy is transformed into electricity, as in a conventional power station, using the sun as a source of clean and free energy and not coal, petroleum or gas, avoiding so greenhouse gases emissions.
Part of the energy collected during the day through the collectors is stored as heat in molten salts within huge deposits to continue generating electricity eight hours after sunset. When the days are not sunny the station can be operated by gas. They are more than 600,000 mirrors, between 2 and 2.8 meters wide, occupying a very large space, equivalent to about 210 football fields, to produce a relatively modest total power -150 MW-but it is enough to serve half a million inhabitants and that-a very important-save 450,000 tons of CO2 annually.
Andasol is already, having carried out this month the third phase, the largest thermo solar park in Europe; but is, above all, a remarkable feat of engineering on which to base future installations of this type in southern Europe and also in northern Africa and Middle East, where there are vast and empty deserts with sunlight and high temperatures.
The best available technology for the right place, with the highest viability and lowest possible cost and environmental impact. This is always the challenge to install solar energy.

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