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Are there ways to transport Solar Energy be Transported?

Are there ways to transport Solar Energy be Transported?

Many have asked why it isn’t possible to fill deserts with thousands of solar cells , and transfer the energy to cities across the globe. In the future, cities on the West Coast could be powered by vast areas in Arizona and New Mexico, while the Sahara could provide power to Northern Africa and Southern Europe. This isn’t happening yet but it does raise the question: Can solar energy be transported?

Although it is possible to transport solar energy from one location to another but this could result in prohibitive costs and loss of power because of resistance. Engineers would need to adjust the voltage to address the issue.

Because the current solar panels aren’t efficient, it would be impossible to generate enough power. They’re great for powering businesses, homes and homes, but not large cities.

What exactly is Energy Storage?

Solar Energy Storage refers to technologies that are able to collect energy and then store the electricity in a different form (chemical, thermal or mechanical) before release it at the time of need. One of these technologies are lithium-ion battery. While energy storage can never achieve 100% efficiency, a certain amount of energy is lost in the conversion and recovery of energy. However, energy storage allows for flexible energy use at different times than when it was generated. Storage can increase the efficiency and resilience of the system and also improve power quality by matching demand and supply.

Both energy capacity (the total amount of solar energy stored) in addition to power capacity (the amount of energy that is available at any time) are two different things. It is possible to use various storage capacities to handle different tasks. Solar power plants can function without issue even when there are fluctuations in its output due to passing clouds. However, long-term storage could be used to provide energy for a few days or even weeks when the sun is not producing enough energy or there is a severe weather event.

The advantages of combining solar and storage

Balancing the load of electricity – With no storage, electricity has to be consumed and generated simultaneously. This may require the grid operator “curtail” certain portions of the generation to prevent over-generation and reliability problems. There could be periods when the sun sets, or on days with cloudy skies where there is less solar energy but there is still an abundance of power demand. Storage is a method to conserve power. It can be charged or filled when there is a low generation and low power consumption. Then it can be dispensed or used in times of high levels of demand or load. The energy produced by sun’s rays can be stored so that it can be available to grid operators whenever they need it. This is how storage can be used to protect against sun’s radiation.

“Firming” Solar generation

This is a short-term storage option which can be utilized to ensure that sudden changes in solar energy do not negatively impact power output from a solar power plant. A small battery is a good example. It can be utilized to assist the grid to maintain a reliable and steady electrical supply.


Solar and storage can offer electricity backup in event of an outage in the electrical grid. They can keep vital facilities running to supply essential services like communications. Solar power is also a viable option and storage for microgrids or smaller-scale devices like portable power units or mobile phones.

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Could Solar Energy be transported wirelessly?

A solar thermal energy conversion process which converts solar energy into heat without the need for wires. The sun’s radiation could be converted into heat, and transform steam from water. The steam would then power the turbine, which generates electricity.

Although it is possible transform solar energy to another type of energy that can transport, it is not being implemented on a sufficient size to power more than a small town.

This is due to solar panels only being around 20% efficient in the conversion of sunlight into electricity. It means just 20% of the sunlight hitting the solar panel can be converted into usable energy for every 100.

To produce enough power to power California or”region,” it would require an enormous amount of solar panel. Then , it would be necessary to transport the energy across large distances.

Scientists are currently working on solutions to this problem. They will find new methods of storing and transporting solar electricity.

Can Solar Power be Stored and Transferred?

There are many ways that to store solar power, and then moved to different locations. Although there are many ways in which solar power could be stored or then transported, the majority cannot transport on a large scale.

Different types of energy storage

Pumped Hydropower is the most widely used form of energy storage that is used by the power grid. The most common storage technology which is utilized in conjunction to solar power plant is hydropower pumped. The compressed air and flywheel storage could offer different storage options, including fast discharge, or big capacities, making them attractive for grid owners. Below are additional details on different storage options.

Pumped-Storage Hydropower

A method of storing energy with water, also known as pumped-storage hydropower is a type stored energy. If the energy demand is not high electricity is utilized to pump water into a reservoir. The water then flows downhill, turning a turbine that generates electricity for high demand. Pumped hydro, a tried and tested storage technique that has been utilized across the United States since 1929, is well-tested. It requires suitable landscapes and reservoirs. These can be either natural or man-made lakes. This type of technology requires long regulatory approvals and lengthy time to implement. The financial payback time for the pumped hydro system is usually lengthy due to the insufficient recognition of the value of its services in integrating variable renewables. These are only one of the main reasons pumped-hydro has not been built in recent times despite the fact that there is plenty of interest from people who have asked the preliminary permit or licence with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Electrochemical Storage

A lot of users are aware of electrochemical battery technology that is used in mobile phones and laptops. The battery stores energy by causing an enzymatic reaction when electricity is introduced into it. The chemical energy reaction that happens when the battery is charged reversed. This creates voltage between the two electrical contacts and causes current to flow out of it. While lithium-ion is by far the most widely used chemistry for batteries, there are other options , such as lead-acid and sodium.

Thermal Energy Storage

A range of technologies which utilizes thermal energy storage to store heat is either molten salt, water or another fluid. Thermal storage materials are stored in a container that is insulated until it is needed. The energy can be used to cool or heat or generate electricity. The heat is used to boil the water inside thermal storage units that are intended for electricity. The steam generated is used to drive a turbine, which in turn produces electricity using the same equipment as utilized in traditional electricity generation stations. CSP plants make use of thermal energy storage to conserve heat. This is because the receiver focuses sunlight on that working liquid. As a working fluid, supercritical carbon dioxide is under investigation. This may allow for higher temperatures as well as reduce the size of the plant.

Flywheel storage

Flywheels are large wheels that are attached with rotating shafts. The wheel can turn faster by consuming energy. An electrical generator can extract this energy by attaching to the wheel. The process uses electromagnetism, and slows the wheel down to create electricity. Flywheels are capable of providing electricity quickly, but they’re not able to store much energy.

The storage of compressed air

The large vessels can be used for storage of compressed air. The compressor pumps pressurized air into the vessels. This compressed air released to drive a turbine which produces electricity. The compressed air energy storage systems which are currently in operation frequently release the air to generate electricity as part the natural gas power cycle.

Solar Fuels

The sun’s energy can be used to make new fuels. These can be burned or used to produce energy. Researchers are currently studying hydrogen. It is made by the separation of hydrogen from oxygen within water, along with methane which is produced by combining hydrogen with carbon dioxide. Natural gas is mainly composed of methane. It is used to heat homes or produce electricity.

Virtual Storage

You can also store solar energy by changing the way you use existing equipment. The building can be “stored” thermal energy by cooling or heating it before the peak in electrical demand. This allows it to not be reliant on electricity in the afternoon. In storing cool or warm air, the building functions as an insulated thermos. Similar methods can be utilized to distribute demand across the day using water heaters.

Commercial and residential customers, along with utility companies and large-scale solar operators, can benefit from solar storage systems. As technology advances and the costs for solar large-scale energy storage fall the solar storage and solar solutions will become more accessible.

These all sound great however, they aren’t capable of being shipped or stored in large quantities. It is only a matter of time before solar energy can be transported around the world thanks to recent advancements in solar storage technology as well as renewable energy technology.

Another non-science related barrier is government instability

Although it is somewhat off-topic, this does refer to another motive for transporting solar energy around throughout the globe…government instability.

Most countries can get along or accept one another as a group. This is particularly true for countries that produce energy (coal, oil and batteries). It’s not in the best interest of anyone to alter the status quo or to have citizens from another country revolt and overthrow their government and then refuse to purchase the energy they produce from their country.

While solar energy could be stored and transported in many ways, none are currently possible. It’s just a matter of time until new storage and design techniques to store solar power are developed by researchers.



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