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 Swiss Federal Institute of technology Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland.
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 were, however, similar regions, the researchers write in the “Proceedings” of the US Academy of Sciences (“PNAS”).
One Problem with 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 the long-term storage, complicates this discrepancy, an increase in the solar electricity share of the energy mix. But Switzerland has decided to phase out nuclear power and seeks a replacement by renewable energy sources.
The researchers Kahl therefore investigated a scenario in which half of the Swiss nuclear electricity by solar power is replaced. With conventional systems, in the flat country, a solar cell area of about 57 square kilometers would be necessary.
the solar fields 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. The reflected light in the Winter to take advantage of optimal, would be to put 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.
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.
the Potential environmental impact of mountain-solar farms have not investigated, the researchers in the study. “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 when it is 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.