Solarenergy near Sanlucar la Mayor, Spain

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Just outside Sanlucar la Mayor is a huge solarpowerstation. I ofcourse had to see that since I am an electrical engineer and this is therefore a must for me.

At this solarplant three types of solarenergy are produced (and tested) :
1- Photovoltaic solarpanels, so the basic panels as you know them best and that produce electricity out of light.
2- Photovoltaic panels that are assisted by mirrors that reflect extra sunlight onto the solarpanels.
3- Mirror systems that reflect the sunlight into a huge tower were it heats a steamboiler. That tower is actually a traditional steamengine - generator combination. Since these mirrors have to reflect the sunbeams they have to "follow" the sun which they do by means of automated motorsystems.

As you see at these pictures today it is quite cloudy. I use some portable solarpanels in combination with 5VDC usb powerbanks and 18VDC laptop powerbanks for years already and so I know that you don't need full sun to have a lot of solarelectricity. There even have been days that I thought an egally cloudy sky was even more efficient.

Solarenergy

When I was north of the plant I had a good view at those solarmirrors collector holes. A Huge amount of very hot sunlight of about 600C to 800C is send up there.

About solarenergy

As a person and as an electrical engineer I always like new ideas. Unfortunately I am an exception regarding this then almost no one likes new ideas since they are threatening. But whether solarenergy is of any use anyway is very doubtfull. It is rather restricted in capacity and in time, and electricity can not be stored (in large quantities and in any acceptable way).

The Kristal solarpowerplant is the biggest of the BeNeLux (the Belgian, Netherlands and Luxemburg cooperation area) and went into operation in juli 2019. It took € 60.000.000 for 302.000 solarpanels at an area of about 200 soccerfields to (only) supply about 25.000 families.

This plant realises 25% of the Belgian goal on solar energy for the year 2019. Which implies the goal is obviously to build solarenergyplants for 100.000 Belgian families per year. So in 2019 3 more of these plants had to be build finished, but construction had not even started end 2019.

Belgium has 11.4000.000 inhabitants (2018) and assuming a family consists of 3.25 persons average the country has 3.500.000 families. So only 139 of these solarpowerplants still have to be build in total 😕. The planning realisation will for sure outlast (all) the politicians.

To put this into some perspective : the Netherlands were also listed in the Top-28 of the best 28 EU countries concerning renewable energy. With a percentage of 7.4 they were the number 28 🤬 in 2018.

Anyway, solarenergy will help, if the sun is shining. Which is ofcourse unsure and so beyond the responsibility of all (politicians). In all nights (and the whole winters) they still need nuclear power (which is the only available way to save the CO2 situation climate In Time).

Solarenergy

So every more or less normal sized town of 81.000 inhabitants will have to find and buy suitable constructionarea for the equivalent of 200 soccerfields. I.e. Amsterdam would need to create some 2000 (yes, 2k) soccerfields full of solarpowerpanels. To be sure Amsterdam would have to create another 2000 soccerfields full of solarpanels in i.e. Australia. And order a cable to get that energy to them. Just in case "the sun sinks into the (North-) sea", which could happen tonight already.

Since a soccerfield in general measures 100 x 50 meters 1 km2 will fitt 10 x 20 soccerfields. So 1 km2 of area has to be found close to every city all over the countrie(s). Besides that all towns will then still have to agree on building nuclear powerplants in case it rains.

The tarmac (only) of a 4-lane highway is generally some 25 meters wide. Which means that those 1-town 200 soccerfields need as little space as a 40 km long fullsize 4-lane highway. A solution could be to have all highways roofed with solarpanels. But for some reason this seems not to be an option. It could easily be too cheap 😀.

And that area will need to have an acceptable (short) distance to the regular powergrid. Not because of the electrical connection but because everyone (!) along the traject will not be willing to have that "thing" near.

Solarenergy

So why worry, don't be so negative, there will be technical solutions in time !

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