Solar energy engineering

28 sept 2010
15:00 - 15:30

Solar energy engineering

Solar energy is by nature an intermittent source of energy.

In order to add significant outputs of solar energy into the global energy mix storage solutions will be required. Battery storage is expensive and inefficient, and molten salt is problematic. The solar industry is searching for alternatives.

Solar reforming of natural gas is one very interesting option.

If the natural gas is reacted with CO2 recycled from power plants a very fortunate situation is created with two positive effects: CO2 is recycled and solar energy is stored in the natural gas as chemical potential that can be released as the fuel is burned in the combined cycle power plant. The solar energy is converted to 56% electricity, the highest possible yield, and solar energy is made independent of the grid and introduced to base load power stations. Promising results from solar reforming experiments will be elaborated together with the vision for recycling of CO2 in the solar storage system.

The CO2-based solar reforming of natural gas is the solar technology based on carbon dioxide which is closest to commercialization. Other options for using CO2 for solar energy storage are currently being explored in the laboratory and these options will be described briefly during the presentation.