Concentrated solar energy systems may be free from materials constraints, new study showsJuly 3, 2012
Concerns regarding concentrated solar energy systems abound
Recently, the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory released a study that showed that no less than 80% of the country’s energy needs could be met through alternative energy. Concentrated solar energy is cited in the study to be a major contributor to this fact. Though concentrated solar energy systems have become quite popular, for them to reach the level of contribution noted in the study they more research and development must be put into these systems. This has caused some concern regarding whether the use of these energy systems will be held back because of materials restraint.
New study suggests that materials are not an issue
As concentrated solar energy systems become more popular, the need to scale up these energy systems in order to replace fossil-fuel systems is presenting a conceptual problem. Scaling up concentrated solar energy requires access to a wide range of materials, some of which may not be suited for use in large-scale projects. These concerns have kept concentrated solar energy systems at bay for some time. A new study from the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden suggests that there should be no worry over materials constraints.
Concentrated solar energy systems could be viable for large-scale projects
According to the study, concentrated solar energy has proven to be a powerful and effective way to generate clean electricity. These energy systems focus sunlight to a higher intensity, which is then collected by an array of solar panels. The materials used in this process are subjected to a high level of stress, which has caused concern for their ability to cope in large-scale projects. Researchers note, however, that the concerns regarding these materials are largely unfounded.
Researchers suggests material constraints are not a cause for concern
The study suggests that there are no materials constraints in regards to concentrated solar energy systems. Researchers believe that these energy systems could be scaled up and made to meet the needs of countries interested in implementing alternative energy for a number of applications.
Related article(s) and resources: