What is solar-pond?

2,458 Views Updated: 15 Mar 2018
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What is solar-pond?

A solar pond is a large scale energy collector with integrated heat storage for the thermal application. In the solar pond, the water in the pond is made dense artificially by adding salt to it. This prevents water after getting hot from rising to the top of the pond. The solar energy remains trapped in the pond and temperatures in the range of 85’ Celsius are attained.

The solar pond has three distinct layers. The first top layer or the upper convective layer zone consists of very low salinity water about 50cm thick. The middle layer is the non-convective zone acting as an insulator, is 1.5 m thick. The third convective layer stores heat has saturated solution and is 1.5 m thick. Plastic liners are used to prevent seepage of saline water. The density gradient in the middle layer measures the performance of the solar pond. This density gradient is established by floating layers of water on top of the salt solution. For monitoring the density of solution at different levels, the solution is extracted by vacuum pumps to measure density and temperature. After establishing the gradients, the pond is left for 2-3 months for heating up. Then it can be utilized for various applications like process heat, preheating of boiler fed water, drying, refrigeration, power generation and water desalination. It supplies thermal energy, electrical energy, and potable water.

India is the first country in Asia to have a solar pond in the Kutch district of Gujarat, called the Bhuj Solar Pond Project developed in 1987. It is a joint venture of the Gujarat Dairy Development Corporation, Gandhinagar, the Gujarat Energy Development Agency, Baroda and the Tata Energy Research Institute, New Delhi.

Posted by: umarajputb Posts: (32) Opinions: (115) Points: 3,245 Rank: 36

Yes, obviously India must invest more in such such projects since India is an Ideal Country for Solar Energy. We get 300 days of sunshine, our peak power demand is in the evening and not during daytime, and we have a seasonal peak in the summer. These are also times when solar energy is at its peak. While India's main concern is reducing the pollution and smog enveloping our urban areas, the best solution seems to be solar energy.

Also the costs of solar power touched a record low of Rs 4.63 per kilowatt hour (Kwhr) and the solar companies are investing more and more to gain profits from this very free resource.

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