Solar power: energy from the sun
Imagine if your household's power and lights went out every time a cloud covered the sun! Intermittency and availability are key issues for solar energy.
Solar energy is intermittent and variable, only producing energy when the sun shines. The amount of electricity produced therefore is variable: from hour to hour, day to day and season to season.
For solar energy to become a major contributor to the electricity grid supply, the source needs to be reliable and steady – vital for grid stability.
The solution is storage, albeit electrical or thermal.
CSIRO scientists are currently researching, developing and testing thermal storage, heat transfer and containment media for CSP.
An efficient, cost effective storage solution needs to be found so solar energy can be as reliable and stable as fossil fuel generated electricity.
CSIRO solar storage projects include:
- UltraBattery – storing electricity generated from solar radiation
- Storage – storing heat from solar radiation
- SolarGas – combining solar radiation and natural gas.