How to harness the energy in the Sahara Desert

In our last blog post, we answered one of the frequently asked questions about the use of Solar Panels- “Why don’t we have Solar Panels in the Sahara Desert?” 

Did you miss out on that? Read it here

We got to the conclusion that overheating can reduce the efficiency of Solar Panels contrary to the opinion that the more solar energy, the better. 

Now that we know that the solar energy there is not safe for these solar panels, do we just sit back and watch that high amount of solar energy waste away? 

In this blog, we will be sharing thoughts on how the energy in the Sahara Desert can be harnessed.

First, in as much as we said the efficiency of solar panels would be reduced if used in Sahara deserts, there is a particular type of Solar Power that can be used in such intense temperatures. It is called Concentrated Solar Power.

Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) works by focusing the sun’s energy in one spot through its powerful lenses and mirrors. It comes with a conventional steam turbine that helps it convert that mass of heat to electricity. 

Because it requires a large mass of solar energy, it is often recommended to be used in Sahara Deserts. 

However, one major drawback that has been attributed to this process is excessive water usage. We all know that a desert is characterized by a scarcity of water resources. The steam turbine needs water to carry out its operations. The record shows that some CSPs require about 3500 liters of water for every Megawatt hour. The energy from the sun heats the water and converts it to steam.  Once the steam has successfully produced electricity, it will condense back to the water.


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