In review of the latest developments in renewable, solar energy technologies one can establish that the answer to this question is rather controversial. The conversion efficiency of a photovoltaic (PV) cell, or solar cell, is the percentage of the solar energy shining on a PV device that is converted into usable electricity. Thus CSP with TES may not necessarily be perceived as a competitor of PV systems but as a complementary enabler for large scale PV installations. These are: 1. This technology uses computer-controlled mirrors spread over thousands of hectares to reflect sun beams towards the solar power station where water is heated to high temperatures to create steam and produce electricity with a generator. Hopefully, one of these days, a new technology for solar power will arise, and it will be a hybrid of the two. Furthermore, since CSP systems are able to produce excess energy and store it for future use, they can help improve the financial performance and also the sharing ability of solar power and flexibility in the power network. This capability increases the penetration of solar thermal technology in the power generation industry as it helps overcome intermittency problems; usually due to environmental fluctuations – (you may wish to refer to “Renewable Energy Facts: Renewable Energy Sources in the Power Market” for further elaboration on intermittent issues of renewable energy technologies). The fluid that is usually heated by the concentrated sunlight can either be in the form of a liquid or a gas. A solar PV system does not necessarily have to be connected to the electric grid for you to claim the residential federal solar tax credit, as long as it is generating electricity for use at your residence. Solar Star is a solar photovoltaic power station located in Rosamond, California. This means that solar panels are only effective during daylight hours because storing electricity is not a particularly efficient process. Your email address will not be published. Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, on the other hand, are completely different from CSP. When you buy or install a solar photovoltaic (PV) energy system, the price you pay is typically based on the total power output of the solar panels in the system (expressed in watts or kilowatts). This is not like CSP because CSP plants need more space for large-scale applications, and they also have greater risks. A residential solar energy system that uses polycrystalline or monocrystalline solar panels prices will cost about $3 per watt or about $18,000 for a standard 6 kW system. These two may be similar in that they both use the sun in order to generate power. Wind vs. solar: comparing the top renewables. Solar Water Heating Are you interested in reducing your property’s energy consumption? Its prices are unpredictable. In the United States, wind power is significantly more popular than solar. The DC is then converted to AC, usually with the use of inverters, in order to be distributed on the power network. Winner: SolarThe winner probably comes as a surprise to most people, and there’s a very important caveat to this win that we’ll point out later.In 2013, the average construction costs for a utility-scale PV solar power plant was $ That is why if CSP aims to be an attractive option of electricity generation, it has to compete with natural gas and eventually win. And it seems like that’s going to continue to happen because PV panels have recently demonstrated a large price drop — about 30% to 40% in just a couple of years — and some expect that these prices will keep on dropping. The principle behind both types of solar panel – solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal – is the same. The Pros And Cons Of Wind And Solar Power. Concentrated Solar Power or Photovoltaic? And though between the two, CSP is the safer and better option, natural gas still wins because its prices are way more affordable than CSP’s. As we have already established earlier, CSP makes electricity by using the sun’s heat primarily. Because of the CSP’s ability to store energy, the penetration of solar thermal technology in the power generation industry is increased since it helps overcome irregularity issues. This would then make this technology a thermal kind, and because of this, we can say that in reality, CSP is actually competing with other sources of energy that are thermal in nature. Once, the words “public utility” or “power company” conjured images of giant monolithic public or private corporations that owned huge power plants with tall smoky chimneys or cooling towers of reactors. After all, once people realized that the sun can be used to generate electricity, they would understandably find ways on how to do it. Herein we review some important advantages and disadvantages of Photovoltaic (PV) panels. Basically, both CSP and natural gas are attractive forms of generating energy because of their ability to be dispatchable. Monocrystalline panel efficiencies can range from 17% to 22%. In this technology, the panelson rooftops act as the collectors for sunlight and they heat the liquid in the tubes which later goes into a cylinder ready for use. Since CSP absorbs the sun’s heat to generate electricity, it can be dispatched whenever it’s needed. Both of these technologies are greatly influenced by the unpredictability and instability of environmental conditions, placing their reliability, as power generation solutions, rather limited. CSP vs PV – market update – investors’ perspective Whatever the case, both CSP and PV are helpful in promoting the solar industry. But what is the difference between these two? At first glance, it actually makes a lot of sense to make this inference because after all, CSP and PV are two kinds of technologies that the solar power industry uses. They both made solar power possible, and they will be the reason why solar power will be here to stay. CSP-and-PVIt has been stated by energy market players that PV systems constitute a more proven technology which can be built easier, at lower cost and at much shorter time than CSP plants, which, to the contrary, need more space for large-scale applications and are associated with greater risks (e.g. Because of the CSP’s ability to store energy, the penetrati… This large jump in efficiency resulted in the power output of a standard … Instead, they use sunlight through the ‘photovoltaic effect’ to generate direct electric current (DC) in a direct electricity production process. Photovoltaic (PV) panels – how they work Initially, there was a plan to construct a tenth plant. It is operated and maintained by SunPower Services, and it uses about 1.7 million solar panels, spread over a total area of 3,200 acres. In fact, according to the latest research activity at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, TES can supposedly increase the penetration of solar or wind power — which are intermittent renewable energy technologies — into the power industry. Copyright 2020 PROTERMOSOLAR | All Rights Reserved |, Cubico refinances 100 MW of Spanish concentrated solart power, Cubico expands Spanish Concentrated Solar Power portfolio to 250 MW, Botswana to build 200 MW of Concentrated Solar Power, US Concentrated Solar Power valve leap boosts prospects for hotter plants, Low-cost liquid metal coating for concentrated solar power (CSP) polymeric mirrors. As long as energy price of PV plants is less than the Energy price of equivalent CSP , and continue to decline, PV will remain a preferable solution over CSP for energy investors. Required fields are marked *. Instead, it is competing with natural gas. According to latest research activity at the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL – ‘http://www.nrel.gov) it is suggested that TES in Concentrated Solar Thermal Plants can increase the penetration of solar or wind power (intermittent renewable energy technologies) in to the power industry. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is a concentrated solar thermal plant located in the Mojave Desert in the United States. But the developer, Luz Industries, filed for bankruptcy in 1992 because it was unable to secure construction financing. Both of these technologies heavily depend on environmental conditions, which are unpredictable and unstable, so their reliability, as power generation solutions, are rather limited. Monocrystalline (most efficient and most expensive) 2. Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Vs Photovoltaic (PV): An In-depth Comparison, Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) vs. Although diminishing PV costs and uncertain energy market conditions currently favor photovoltaic installations, as already mentioned, comparison between PV and CSP will continue to be controversial; in fact, it may be that the two solar energy technologies may no longer compete; instead, in the future they may work together to increase solar energy penetration into the power industry. Obviously, in a recently long-shaken and uncertain global economic environment, energy investors consider competitive cost of energy the most important issue. The rise in the popularity of solar power energy comes with the expansion of the technologies associated with it. Solar photovoltaic panels produce electricity, while solar thermal systems produce heat. Integration of CSP and TES systems with PV or Wind turbines can help address demand load curve issues (see shaving the Demand curve in “Renewable Energy Facts: Energy storage is key for RES penetration into Power generation”) and achieve cost savings from reduction of ancillary services (spinning reserves). Simply put, nuclear power is the use of nuclear reactions that release nuclear energy to generate heat, which is most frequently used in steam turbines to produce electricity in a nuclear power plant. Energy markets consider three main factors in deciding on power sources: cost of energy, ancillary services and power dispatch-ability on demand. Solar panel technology has dramatically improved over the years, and a range of innovative solar panels are now being introduced in the market. When you evaluate solar panels for your photovoltaic (PV) system, you will encounter two main categories of panel options: monocrystalline solar panels (mono) and polycrystalline solar panels (poly). The plant has a gross capacity of 392 MW, and it deploys 173,500 heliostats, each with two mirrors focusing solar energy on boilers located on three centralized solar power towers. Some might even argue that trying to decide which of them is the better choice is pointless because, at some point in the future, they may no longer have to compete against each other. For more information on quality solar panels, or for a customised solar quot… However, this market intelligence reflects current perceptions that are being created amongst renewable energy market stakeholders. There are three main factors that energy markets consider when deciding on power sources: cost of energy, ancillary services, and power dispatch-ability on demand. After all, once people realized that the sun can be used to generate electricity, they would understandably find ways on how to do it. Your email address will not be published. Thus CSP systems are far more attractive for large scale power generation as thermal energy storage technologies are far more efficient than electricity storage technologies; CSP systems can produce excess energy during the day and store it for usage over the night, thus energy storage capabilities can not only improve financial performance but also dispatchability of solar power and flexibility in the power network. Another downside to natural gas is the fact that it has volatile fuel costs. Solar panel efficiency is a measure of the amount of solar energy (irradiation) which falls on a panel surface and is converted into electricity.Due to the many recent advances in solar cell technology over the last 5 years, average panel conversion efficiency has increased from 15% to 20%. But beyond that, they are as different as can be. And in addition to that, storing electricity (for example, in batteries) is also not easily done, especially at large power levels. Utilities and large scale operations heavily utilize wind energy while homeowners prefer solar energy. in batteries) especially at large power levels. When it was completed back in 2015, it was considered as the world’s largest solar farm with a generating capacity of 579 MW. The solar PV panels located on your property do not necessarily have The core difference between solar PV and solar thermal can be found in their working principles. on cloudy days or overnight, to generate electric power. …the solar PV panels are on my property but not on my roof? What Is Solar Energy? Nowadays, there are two technologies that dominate the solar power industry: the Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) and Photovoltaic (PV). Some of these conversions include the 500 MW project of Solar trust & Solar Millenium and the 709MW and 850MW projects of Tessera-SES (Imperial Valley and Calico respectively). Obviously, for energy investors, the competitive cost of energy is the most important issue. These are the Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) and Photovoltaic (PV). With this installed capacity, Longyangxia Dam Solar Park is considered as the world’s largest PV project. CSP systems are capable of storing energy by use of Thermal Energy Storage technologies (TES) and using it at times of low or no sunlight, e.g. And the fact that natural gas is the preferred option poses a big problem for all of us. They may look reasonable now, but over time when the resources run dry, these prices will definitely shot up. Some of the most popular and the largest projects of CSP and PV are as follows: The Ouarzazate Solar Power Station (OSPS), also called as Noor Power Station is a solar power complex that is located in the Drâa-Tafilalet region in Morocco. The major types of solar panels. Yes. higher investment, challenges with thermal storage, cooling). Solar PV. In terms of energy storage and efficiency, CSP is superior since it can store energy with the help of TES technologies. Solar PV panels are a relatively newer technology compared to thermal. And so far, there are two technologies that are used nowadays to generate solar power. Out of all the renewable energy produced in the U.S. in 2019, 24% came from wind, while 9% came from solar power. The rise in the popularity of solar power energy comes with the expansion of the technologies associated with it. Photovoltaic cells are the main component that makes up a solar panel, while solar panels are a vital component that makes up a solar system. Top Solar Statistics You Need to Know in 2019, Top 10 Technological Breakthroughs in the Solar Industry, http://helioscsp.com/concentrated-solar-power-csp-how-it-works/, https://www.solarpaces.org/csp-technologies/csp-how-it-works/, http://helioscsp.com/concentrated-solar-power-csp-vs-photovoltaic-pv/, https://news.energysage.com/how-solar-photovoltaic-cells-work/, https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2002/solarcells, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photovoltaic_power_station#Noteworthy_solar_parks, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_solar_thermal_power_stations, https://www.solarpaces.org/csp-competes-with-natural-gas-not-pv/, https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/index.php?page=natural_gas_home, publish your articles on SolarFeeds Magazine, click here, Top 11 Solar Associations & Organizations for Solar Industry Professionals, Top 21 Trade Shows for the Solar Industry. It can work on cloudy days, but the energy producing capacity will reduce to 10-30%. CSP vs PV – Energy Storage and efficiency Nuclear power can be obtained from nuclear fission (nucleus splits into two smaller, lighter nuclei), nuclear deca… Because of this, it is then clear that in terms of energy storage and efficiency, thermal energy storage technologies are better, thus making CSP systems the far more attractive option for large scale power generation. To start with, CSP makes use of the sun’s radiation to heat a liquid substance that will then be used to drive a heat engine and drive an electric generator. Both types of panels produce energy from … Then once the loose electrons flow, a current is created, and this current is then captured and transferred into wires, thus generating a direct electric current (DC). The way this works is that the solar PV cells absorb light, which will then knock electrons loose. Some of these risks include higher investment, challenges with thermal shortage, and cooling. 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