A prototype artificial solar island is being built in the Gulf of Ras al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates.
This project is supervised by Thomas Hinderling, the current director of the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) in Neuchâtel.
The plant with a diameter of 100 meters will consist of thousands of mirrors reflecting the sun against small canals filled with water. The heat turns water into steam, which will generate electricity.
"With the solar island, we will convert the sun's energy, ie heat directly from the sun into electricity," said Thomas Hinderling.
The prototype funded to the tune of $ 5 million by the Government of RAK will be the basis for designing more solar power from 3 to 5 km in diameter. Once the system is tested on earth it will be deployed on Wednesday
Ultimately, these floating islands are almost as powerful as the largest nuclear power plant in Switzerland (1,000 MW), but at a lower cost.
The island-shaped solar solar has a membrane that supports both the mirrors and solar thermal tubing. Electric pumps to ensure the membrane support at a height of 20 meters above sea level with a uniform pressure of 0.1 bar.
The entire platform rotate on itself to follow the path of the sun and receive the maximum return. The thermal blanket of solar mirrors represent more than 95% of the available area. To rotate the platform of hydrodynamic motors will be installed every 10 meters along the circumference.
The hot water vapor will be stored in a high pressure tank located in the center of the structure and then transferred to the coast via a pipeline. The steam turbine of the plant will be able to generate several megawatts of electrical power.
Other oil producing countries like Qatar and Libya appear to be interested in this type of technology.
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