With, solar energy it was always difficult to generate electricity when the sun was down. It is this barrier which has hampered the rapid development of this technology since a long time. But now generating power even in the night is possible thanks to the GemaSolar Array.
It’s a 19.9MW concentrated solar power plant located at the Andalucia province in Spain operating since May, 2011. Two tanks of molten salt (MSES) are the secret behind the plants ability to generate power even in the absence of the sun, which suck up and store all the thermal energy generated all day. The Gemasolar plant is a result of a joint venture between Sener of Spain and Masdar a future energy company in Abu Dhabi.
The magical MSES consist of a special ingredient of 60% potassium nitrate and 40% sodium nitrate. This highly potent combination allows the MSES “battery” tower to store up to 99% of the heat energy being thrown at it. Whats more, the battery lasts amazing 15 hours and is not even considered toxic. Can you believe that?
The plant can generate around 110,000 MWh by operating for 6,500 hours throughout the year which allows it to power 25,000 homes easily. Though, you can say that the plant is small at just 19.9MW its abilities are nearly equal to that of a 50MW mainly because it can keep functioning all the time.
See the video below: