- Dish Stirling engine systems are made of standalone parabolic reflector concentrating light onto a receiver placed at the reflector’s focal point. The reflector follows the sun along two axes.
- Solar Power Tower. This is made up of an array of dual axis tracking reflectors. The mirrors concentrate sunlight on a central receiver which is on top of a tower. The receiver boiler contains fluid which is heated and transferred to a secondary system where it is converted to steam to power a turbine generator. Power towers are efficient and have good energy storage potential.
- Parabolic Trough. Parabolic trough systems are made of a linear parabolic reflector concentrating sunlight onto a receiver tube placed along the reflector’s focal line. The receiver tube is filled with a primary working fluid and transfers heat to a secondary system where it can be converted to steam to power a turbine generator. The reflector tracks the sun during daytime.
- Concentrating Linear Fresnel Reflector. Fresnel reflectors are composed of many flat and thin mirror strips. The system concentrates sunlight onto control tubes containing the primary working fluid. Flat mirrors are expensive than parabolic reflectors and allows more reflective surface area.
Solar power basically refers to the process of converting sunlight into electricity. There are two ways to do this: photovoltaic (PV) or indirectly using concentrated solar power (CSP). Either of the two, the process aims at utilizing energy coming from the sun to boil water and then used this to provide power. While solar power technologies were already invented in 1860s, the popularity of coal and petroleum had stagnated what could have been the most important
Considerably, solar power is abundant and free. There is a need for countries that are blessed with year-round sunlight to tap into this opportunity of converting sunlight into solar power. Most African, Asian and Caribbean countries have limited national electricity grid coverage. The most isolated and remote areas thereby suffer due to their inability to access electricity. In Haiti, for instance, only 12.5% of the population have accessed to electricity, 25% of which is illegally connected. People living in non-grid areas depend on felling of trees to produce coal while others use wood as a fuel. This will not be sustainable unless they are planting trees to compensate what a household is using for a year. Put simply, this may jeopardize the environment.
What Haitians need is an access to alternative electricity sources to improve the quality of life of the people and make development a sustainable one. CSP makes use of mirrors with tracking systems, which is used to focus the sunlight onto a specified and small area. This concentrated sunlight is then utilized as heat source. There are different types of concentrating technologies like parabolic trough, dish Stirlings, concentrating linear and solar power tower. Peak temperatures and the optimal thermodynamic efficiency depend on which concentrators you will use. There is no best concentrator however because this will depend on the purpose and area which it will supply solar power.
PV, or photovoltaic, on the other hand, makes use of solar cells, which is used to create voltage upon exposure to direct sunlight. Solar cells can create electric current by converting the solar energy into an electron flow. Solar cells can thereby directly power different household items. Nevertheless, when more power is required, a series of solar cells that makes for solar panels is then created using electrical connections. These solar panels can be arranged into arrays to support the electrical needs of a household, for instance.
In summary, there are two solar power resources that can be made available for the Haitians. Haitians are currently suffering from inability to be serviced by electrical companies considering the limited output of the national electricity grid. Nevertheless, solar power can actually provide Haitians an easy access to electricity free of charge. This can be carried out through PV and CSP; which are both viable solar power applications.