Solar Power at Night

A very large solar power plant in Spain produces electricity even at night. It does so by storing heat produced in the day with its 2,600 mirrored heliostats, in molten salts which reach temperatures of 500 degrees Celsius. The molten salt battery storage system can retain heat for 16 hours. Energy held in the salts is used to make steam, which turn turbines to generate electricity.

In summer, so much heat is generated and stored the plant can run twenty four hours a day. The amount of energy produced at the plant powers about 30,000 households. What makes such power generation possible are thousands of heliostats which concentrate sunlight by 1,000 times. One of the chief criticisms of solar power is the limited availability of sunlight, but energy storage systems like molten salts are one answer.

A subsidy of five million Euros from the European Commission supported construction of the plant and it is expected to make back the total investment of over $200 million Euros in 18 years.

Spain is a world leader in solar power due to abundant sunshine, and cooperation between the government and private sector to move the country forward. Regardless of politics, renewable energy is the wave of the future, because fossil fuels do too much damage to public health and the planet’s climate. Drilling and mining also can cause far too much destruction of wild habitats, which are already shrinking due to overpopulation. Additionally, the human population is growing and even more energy will be consumed in the future, but it makes zero sense to use the worst fossil fuel energy in the future and produce even more pollution than we have now.

Image Credit: kjkolb

The power tower pictured above is not the exact one in Spain, but is similar.


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Alice D.
Alice C5 years ago

Soluxe Solar Applauds Accomplishment of "Fuel-less Flight"
by Staff Writers
Darien CT (SPX) Jul 13, 2012

The Solar Impulse, which is made of carbon fibre and operates completely without fuel, began its momentous journey in May as it departed from Switzerland.

When the Solar Impulse HB-SIA, a solar plane that can fly day or night without any fuel, completes the final leg of its 5000 km round trip journey between Switzerland and Morocco it will have made history and paved the way for a new frontier in aviation.

It is this accomplishment and its impact on the future potential in solar flight that has caught the eye of Soluxe Solar, a Connecticut-based solar company that honors major developments, accomplishments and innovators in the solar industry with its weekly Soluxe "Solar Flare" award.

"The ability of the Solar Impulse to make this journey without fuel has tremendous, far reaching implications on the future of solar flight and what could now be possible," says Soluxe Solar CEO Jeffrey Mayer.

"It is a significant achievement from a technological and environmental perspective and we felt the perfect honoree for this week's Solar Flare."

The Solar Impulse, which is made of carbon fibre and operates completely without fuel, began its momentous journey in May as it departed from Switzerland. The giant plane which is the size of a jumbo jet but weighs less than a family car is operated by 12,000 solar cells turning four electrical motors.

This t

Alice D.
Alice C5 years ago

We have installed batteries for power outages.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal G5 years ago

Solar all the way!

J.L. A.
j A5 years ago

great to know to help debunk myths

Duane B.
.5 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Michael C.
Michael C5 years ago

We have possessed this technology for the last to decades, the only problem is that we are only now showing the will to utilize it.

By the way, our home has been solar powered for over 30 years, but we have always chose to consider solar an investment. Just utility bill for over 20 years.

Neil A.
Neil A5 years ago

Looks good & certainly would be very reliable in my area, I am researching to find the best most economic system for my area.

paul m.
paul m5 years ago


Patricia H.
Patricia H5 years ago

thanks for sharing

Marie W.
Marie W5 years ago

And why is the EU leading in solar power? Hell, even China is doing better than USA.