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Researchers advertise for solar farms in the mountains

One Problem with solar electricity is that demand and production are often in opposite directions: solar fields produce in the summer, the most power, but in the Winter the highest. More solar farms in the mountain regions could provide a remedy, say Swiss researchers.

solar farms in the mountain regions to the need for seasonal electricity better cover than plants in the lowlands. In addition, you need less surface area. According to a study of the Federal Institute of technology Lausanne (EPFL) and the WSL Institute for snow and avalanche research (SLF).

The Team is Not Bald has been calculated for the generation of electricity in different heights and with different inclination of the solar angles of the developed panels in the course of the year. The study will look at the Switzerland, the results could be transferred to similar regions, write the researchers in the "Proceedings" of the US Academy of Sciences ("PNAS").


approach A Problem in the use of solar power is that demand and production are often in opposite directions: the solar fields will produce the most electricity in the summer, while the demand for electricity in the Winter is highest. Since it is not sufficiently large capacity for long time storage, complicates this discrepancy, an increase in the solar electricity share of the energy mix. The voting public adopted the energy strategy 2050, but to rely on renewable energy sources instead of nuclear power.

The researchers to Bare therefore investigated a scenario in which half of nuclear-generated electricity through solar power will be replaced. With conventional systems, in the flat country, a solar cell area of about 57 square kilometers would be necessary.

the time for solar farms in the mountain regions above the winter snow line, increasing the productivity for three reasons: first, the atmosphere absorbs at higher altitudes, less solar radiation, the cloud cover in the Winter is in the height of which is less than in the flat country, and the snow reflects in the Winter a lot of sun light.

a Steeper angle needed

the reflected light in the Winter the best use, should be placed the solar panels with an inclination of 65 degrees is significantly steeper than in the Swiss lowlands, where the optimal tilt angle is about 37 degrees.

Such a mountain installations come according to the researchers, with approximately 47 square miles of solar cells surface, about one-sixth less than in the flat country. Due to their increased winter productivity you might need in addition to the seasonally fluctuating electricity better than conventional solar farms in the flat country. The mountain-solar power would reduce the gap between production and demand at least around half.

The ETH Lausanne and the WSL research Institute operating in the ski resort of Parsenn, above Davos, at a test facility. Image: image: EPFL/CRYOS

to avoid snow cover, could be mounted the solar panels in the mountains, completely vertical, stress the researchers. As a result, the winter is declining productivity. Although the necessary solar cell area increases, however, it is still just below the area required in the flat country.

Existing structures use

the Potential environmental impact of mountain-solar farms, the researchers in the study examined. "The direct impact depends on the existing infrastructure," explained Kahl on demand. "If you choose a remote place that has no road access, connection to the electricity grid, the impact is greater than if you installed for example on existing buildings and other structures in a village, a ski resort or water power plants."

The Installation in already developed areas is preferable, and in the Alps already, large parts of the mountain regions, were to be provided with the appropriate infrastructure, said Kahl. This more precise estimate, however, further studies will be needed.

Together with the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) and the electricity company of the Canton of Zurich, the researchers operate a test facility to Kahl currently on the Totalp in Davos, Parsenn ski resort, such as the SLF and EPFL said. So you want to clarify technical and practical issues relating to the production of solar power in the mountains, for example, what is the angle of inclination of the solar panels must have, in order for the snow by itself doesn't slip.


Created: 08.01.2019, 09:21 PM

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