Project

Solar thermal generation of electrical power on California freeway's shoulders and median

The major concern of the world at this time is the growing rate of energy consumption and the resulting act of increasing pollution. We are living in an era where it is not possible to stop the growth or decrease the use of energy, whether it relates to personal or commercial use. So the more energy we generate using fossil fuels, the more pollution crisis occurs. So the only way left to deal with this situation is to generate electricity with sources of renewable energy such as solar, wind and tidal waves. 
 
 
 This project involves the use of the solar energy to generate electricity on the freeway’s shoulders and median. We are using Solar Thermal panel units manufactured by a company called Sopogy. The Sopogy uses MicroCSP technology to transfer solar energy into thermal energy. A steam turbine converts the thermal energy into electrical energy. The solar thermal power plant has some limitations along with benefits. Due to the low efficiency and inconsistency of solar power plants, they cannot replace a power plant that uses non-renewable energy sources. However, solar power plants generate sufficient amounts of electricity to help local utility companies maintain power at peak times and sustain balance in a demand curve. 
 
 Furthermore, this project aims to find the most economical region in California to build this power plant and estimate total revenue generation per year. As a part of our research, we have collected electrical and civil engineering parameters for the installation of the power plant. Included here, we have illustrated a structural layout of solar panel units with adequate safety clearance to avoid any hazardous situation on freeways. In addition, we have analyzed the data and performed calculations to find total energy and revenue generation per year. By using our economical analysis, one can decide which freeway of California has the highest revenue generation and the lowest revenue payback period. Therefore, we believe that the contents and results of this project will help anyone to build a real solar thermal power plant on a freeway.

Project (M.S., Electrical and Electronic Engineering) -- California State University, Sacramento, 2009.

The major concern of the world at this time is the growing rate of energy consumption and the resulting act of increasing pollution. We are living in an era where it is not possible to stop the growth or decrease the use of energy, whether it relates to personal or commercial use. So the more energy we generate using fossil fuels, the more pollution crisis occurs. So the only way left to deal with this situation is to generate electricity with sources of renewable energy such as solar, wind and tidal waves. This project involves the use of the solar energy to generate electricity on the freeway’s shoulders and median. We are using Solar Thermal panel units manufactured by a company called Sopogy. The Sopogy uses MicroCSP technology to transfer solar energy into thermal energy. A steam turbine converts the thermal energy into electrical energy. The solar thermal power plant has some limitations along with benefits. Due to the low efficiency and inconsistency of solar power plants, they cannot replace a power plant that uses non-renewable energy sources. However, solar power plants generate sufficient amounts of electricity to help local utility companies maintain power at peak times and sustain balance in a demand curve. Furthermore, this project aims to find the most economical region in California to build this power plant and estimate total revenue generation per year. As a part of our research, we have collected electrical and civil engineering parameters for the installation of the power plant. Included here, we have illustrated a structural layout of solar panel units with adequate safety clearance to avoid any hazardous situation on freeways. In addition, we have analyzed the data and performed calculations to find total energy and revenue generation per year. By using our economical analysis, one can decide which freeway of California has the highest revenue generation and the lowest revenue payback period. Therefore, we believe that the contents and results of this project will help anyone to build a real solar thermal power plant on a freeway.

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