When you think solar power, you probably think that it’s only good for use in the day, and generally this is true especially when it comes to things like solar powered chargers for phones or laptops and etc. Not content with just its use for the day, a solar energy power plant in Spain not only uses the power of the sun to keep it working in the day, but manages to keep it going all through the night as well.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because this isn’t exactly groundbreaking as there are actually several solar plants in the world that do this, but the one built in Spain, dubbed the Gemasolar, is apparently the only one in world that has the capability of working non-stop for 24 hours. This is accomplished by redirecting the heat from the sun and storing it in a tank. In order to keep the plant going 24 hours, the engineers used molten salt instead of oil to product pressurized steam in the turbine, which is apparently more efficient.
However, before you get too excited at the possibilities, while the solar energy plant is capable of working through the night, it is unable to generate maximum capacity, but then again with the majority of people asleep at night, power consumption probably isn’t what it is during the day either. Despite that, the designers of the plant are estimating that its capacity at night should be able to reach 70% by 2012.