Implantation of 300 MW of solar energy in Spain
Tutor / director / evaluatorEklund, Mats
Document typeMaster thesis (pre-Bologna period)
Rights accessRestricted access - confidentiality agreement
The solar energy is the most important renewable energy in the last years. There are several ways to use this energy, like heating water for a domestic or industrial use. Another common use is to produce electricity, which can be done by a variety of different kind of technologies. The most commonly used technology is the photovoltaic. It is based on the photovoltaic effect, which is created when the energy of the sun full upon a semiconductor material, usually silicium, generating a current flow. This is the most expensive technology and in its production is used big amounts of energy and are used some hazardous substances for the environment. Also it is the one that requires more space. However its implementation is easier, because it is possible to integrate the installation in the cities, on the building roofs. Besides it is the technology with more experience. Also it is possible to use the sun energy to heat a fluid, which will generate vapour and use this vapour to generate electricity with a common vapour cycle. This technology is called thermoelectric solar energy. Depending on the way of collecting this heat we are able to differentiate between parabolic trough, Fresnel trough, dish/Stirling and central tower. In the parabolic trough, the thermal fluid circulates in a tube and it is heated during all its way using a parabolic reflector. The Fresnel technology is very similar to the parabolic trough, but the reflectors are flat panels. The dish/Stirling is a very recent technology in which the reflector is a parabolic dish and each dish has its own collector with a Stirling engine, the responsible to produce the electricity. In the central tower there is a big field of heliostats, those reflect the sun energy in the top of a tower, where the thermal fluid is heated. These technologies are cheaper than the photovoltaic energy, being the central tower the cheapest one. Besides its payback is much lower and in its production are not used hazardous substances. However they are only rentable for big installations and because of it, its implementation is more difficult. Finally there is the solar tower. It is a very recent technology which only has one small prototype in operation. It is based on the generation of artificial wind using a big collector area and to lead this wind inside a big tower, which can arrive to 1000 meters. Inside the tower there are several turbines that will generate the electricity. This is the cheapest technology and it is possible to generate big amounts of energy using less space than on the other technologies. However, due to its high visual impact its implementation is very difficult. The more suitable technology for a specific place has to be studied case by case. It depends on the size of the installation, the climate condition, its proximity to urban areas, the land availability, the land irregularity… In this project it is studied the implementation of 200 MW in Spain and it is compared the economical balance and the environmental impact for different sites to try to determine the most suitable technology for each site.
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