Monthly Archives: July 2010

Spain overtakes US with biggest solar power station

Spain has overtaken the United States in terms of having installed the biggest solar power station with the new La Florida plant. The new solar power production is the worlds largest solar power station ever and has the equivalent output of a nuclear power station.

This new La Florida solar plant takes Spain’s solar output up to about 432MW. The United States output is about 422MW. The plant is located at Alvarado, Badajoz in the west of the country and covers about 550,000 square meters. The way this station works is it collects solar energy by reflecting sunlight off a parabolic mirror onto a fluid filled tube. From there the heated liquid is then used to heat steam to run turbines. The mirrors, rotate during the day to follow the sun’s movements. The Spanish government has been committed to achieving a target of 12 percent of primary energy from renewable energy by the end of this year. With an installed solar generating capacity of 3000 megawatts (MW).

Spain is one of the most advanced countries when it comes to renewable energies. It has long been producer of hydro electricity (only China and the U.S. Have built more dams) and is highly developed in wind power. The country gets one of the largest of sunshine of all European countries average 340 days a year), making it the perfect place for generating electricity from the sun..Spain is the fourth largest manufacturer in the world of solar power technology and exports 80 percent of this output to Germany.

Protermosolar, the association that represents the solar energy sector in Spain, says that within a year another 600MW will have come on-stream and claims that by 2013 solar capacity will have reached 2,500MW.


Mission Solar Impulse successfully

The Solar Impulse plane has  been proved that it can collect energy from the sun during the day to stay aloft all night. The aircraft has completed its first 24-hours test flight successfully. The aim was to assess whether the plane can fly in darkness, using solar cells on its wings to generate enough power to stay in the air for 24 hours.

The Solar impulse, which took off from Switzerland, has the weight of a family car but the wingspan of a big airliner. Pilot Andre Borschberg eased the Solar impulse out of the clear blue morning sky onto the runway at Payerne airfield  about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southwest of the Swiss capital Bern at exactly 9 am.  Helpers rushed to stabilize the pioneering plane as it touched down, ensuring that its massive 207-foot (63 meter) wingspan didn’t scrape the ground and topple the craft.

The test brings the Swiss-led project one step closer to its goal of circling the globe using only energy from the sun. ‘We achieved more than we wanted’ , told Borschberg. ‘Everybody is extremely happy.’

It  is the longest and highest flight ever made by a solar plan.