Both of these technologies heavily depend on environmental conditions, which are unpredictable and unstable, so their reliability, as power generation solutions, are rather limited. Energy markets consider three main factors in deciding on power sources: cost of energy, ancillary services and power dispatch-ability on demand. Hence, a homeowner’s choice can come down to roof design, budget (which is better now because of the 3% GDP growth rate), commitment to new technology, and individual preference. They both made solar power possible, and they will be the reason why solar power will be here to stay. This technology uses computer-controlled mirrors spread over thousands of hectares to reflect sun beams towards the solar power station where water is heated to high temperatures to create steam and produce electricity with a generator. These are the Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) and Photovoltaic (PV). But what is the difference between these two? Although CSP is obviously the more efficient one in terms of energy saving, that doesn’t mean it’s the best option. To begin with, natural gas is not safe for the environment — just like the other fossil fuels. Solar panel wattage represents a solar panel’s theoretical power production under ideal sunlight and temperature conditions. CSP systems will need to demonstrate high performance in all three attributes, competitive thermal-energy-storage costs, energy dispatch-ability and reliability as an ancillary solution, in order to remain attractive and competitive against Photovoltaic panels. Herein we review some important advantages and disadvantages of Photovoltaic (PV) panels. When compared to solar thermal technology, solar PV is a much newer technology. And though between the two, CSP is the safer and better option, natural gas still wins because its prices are way more affordable than CSP’s. Your email address will not be published. The principle behind both types of solar panel – solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal – is the same. Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS) consists of nine solar power plants in California’s Mojave Desert where insolation is among the best available in the United States. So, now that we already know that CSP and PV have their own advantages and disadvantages, it shouldn’t surprise us anymore that there are many projects for these two. Solar PV’s advantages include: And methane is a greenhouse gas that is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. With this installed capacity, Longyangxia Dam Solar Park is considered as the world’s largest PV project. Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels differ from solar thermal systems in that they do not use the sun’s heat to generate power. Thus CSP systems are far more attractive for large scale power generation as thermal energy storage technologies are far more efficient than electricity storage technologies; CSP systems can produce excess energy during the day and store it for usage over the night, thus energy storage capabilities can not only improve financial performance but also dispatchability of solar power and flexibility in the power network. Out of all the renewable energy produced in the U.S. in 2019, 24% came from wind, while 9% came from solar power. This is not like CSP because CSP plants need more space for large-scale applications, and they also have greater risks. In solar PV systems this is through the creation of electricity, whereas thermal systems are used directly for heating water or air. Solar energy is here to stay, and it has changed the power industry, its business model, and the way electricity is delivered to the grid. Solar photovoltaic panels produce electricity, while solar thermal systems produce heat. And it seems like that’s going to continue to happen because PV panels have recently demonstrated a large price drop — about 30% to 40% in just a couple of years — and some expect that these prices will keep on dropping. This means that solar panels are only effective during daylight hours because storing electricity is not a particularly efficient process. Solar Module/Panel refers to a single photovoltaic panel which is a packaged, connected assembly of solar cells. Solar Water Heating Are you interested in reducing your property’s energy consumption? As we have already established earlier, CSP makes electricity by using the sun’s heat primarily. For example, it can either be water, oil, helium, salts, or air, among others… After the direct electric current is generated, it is then converted into AC, usually using inverters, so that it will be distributed on the power network. Concentrated Solar Power or Photovoltaic? This would then make this technology a thermal kind, and because of this, we can say that in reality, CSP is actually competing with other sources of energy that are thermal in nature. With the plant’s installed capacity, it’s one of the world’s largest solar thermal power stations. CSP is an indirect method that generates alternating current (AC), which will then be easy to distribute on the power network. Some of these conversions include the 500 MW project of Solar trust & Solar Millenium and the 709MW and 850MW projects of Tessera-SES (Imperial Valley and Calico respectively). Basically, both CSP and natural gas are attractive forms of generating energy because of their ability to be dispatchable. This project cost around $2.5 billion, and it includes 9 million CdTe photovoltaic modules based on thin-film technology. It is operated and maintained by SunPower Services, and it uses about 1.7 million solar panels, spread over a total area of 3,200 acres. Because of the CSP’s ability to store energy, the penetrati… In fact, according to the latest research activity at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, TES can supposedly increase the penetration of solar or wind power — which are intermittent renewable energy technologies — into the power industry. Its prices are unpredictable. Both types of panels produce energy from … As long as energy price of PV plants is less than the Energy price of equivalent CSP , and continue to decline, PV will remain a preferable solution over CSP for energy investors. This indirect method generates alternating current (AC) which can be easily distributed on the power network. They may look reasonable now, but over time when the resources run dry, these prices will definitely shot up. Concentrated Solar Thermal systems (CSP), are not the same as Photovoltaic panels; CSP systems concentrate radiation of the sun to heat a liquid substance which is then used to drive a heat engine and drive an electric generator. Incredibly, over an eight year span (from 2006 to 2014), worldwide average solar panel module prices have dropped over 75% from $3.25 per watt to about $.72 per watt. Then once the loose electrons flow, a current is created, and this current is then captured and transferred into wires, thus generating a direct electric current (DC). This is done by capturing the electrical current generated when sunshine interacts with the solar cells in the panel and is transferred through the wiring and busbars to be converted into AC (alternating current) energy. Solar engineers use a multitude of criteria for to design, engineer, and manufacture solar panels. This capability increases the penetration of solar thermal technology in the power generation industry as it helps overcome intermittency problems; usually due to environmental fluctuations – (you may wish to refer to “Renewable Energy Facts: Renewable Energy Sources in the Power Market” for further elaboration on intermittent issues of renewable energy technologies). Required fields are marked *. Once, the words “public utility” or “power company” conjured images of giant monolithic public or private corporations that owned huge power plants with tall smoky chimneys or cooling towers of reactors. Solar panel efficiency is a measurement of how much of the sun’s energy a certain panel can convert into usable electricity. Photovoltaic cells are the main component that makes up a solar panel, while solar panels are a vital component that makes up a solar system. 3 This trend of investors choosing PV over CSP will continue so long as PV remains cheaper. 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