US solar energy research and development turned to concentrating power generation technology

2019-10-23 14:28

According to XXXX Technology Review magazine, the US Department of Energy recently announced an investment of US $62 million to increase the research and development of another major technology in the solar energy industry - concentrated solar power generation, in order to overcome the key problems of solar grid stability, repair and energy storage.

At present, solar power plants are mainly based on two technologies to convert solar energy into electric energy: one is photovoltaic power generation technology, which requires expensive battery packs or external energy storage technology, and can only operate and supply power when the sun is shining; The second is the concentrated solar power generation technology, which focuses the sunlight through the lens, and uses the obtained energy to convert water into steam to drive the steam turbine to run. The solar energy is partially converted into heat energy and stored in the molten salt tank equipped with the system, which can provide continuous power supply at night or in rainy days.

In 2011, in order to increase the competitiveness of solar power generation, the United States Department of Energy proposed the "Sunshine Program", hoping to reduce the unit price of solar energy per watt hour from $4 to $1 by 2020. Therefore, the Ministry of Energy and public and private enterprises focus on the research and development of photovoltaic power generation technology that is easier to achieve, and achieve the expected goal ahead of schedule at the beginning of this year. Concentrated light power generation technology has been ignored for a long time because of its higher cost and greater technical difficulty.

The US Department of Energy announced the research shift this time, hoping that after the unit price of solar energy reaches the expected goal, it will conquer the concentrated solar technology that can improve the stability and sustainability of the solar grid. Although some people questioned that this might be the Trump government's cover for "suppressing the threat of rapidly developing photovoltaic power generation to fossil fuels", many energy experts expressed their support for this technological shift and believed that concentrated photovoltaic power generation has more advantages than photovoltaic power generation in the storage of solar energy.

The energy policy researcher of XXX Branch of XX University said: "At present, there are problems of excessive investment in photovoltaic power generation and insufficient investment in concentrated solar power generation. The new plan of the Ministry of Energy will set off a wave of research and development of concentrated solar energy." The director of the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Center of XXX University also believed that the photovoltaic power generation technology is mature, and the problem to be solved is no longer the technical level, but how to expand the scale. These private enterprises can solve it. The government departments can spend more money to develop the immature photovoltaic power generation technology to solve the deep-seated problems faced by the development of solar energy.