Clean Technica | By: James Ayre | April 29, 2018:
Solar ponds are a type of passive solar energy technology whereby pools of saltwater are used to collect and store solar thermal energy — making use of the natural formation of a salinity gradient in such bodies of water, whereby heat isn’t easily transferred between a high-salinity layer at the bottom of the body of water in question and a low-salinity layer on top.
As a result of this naturally occurring vertical salinity gradient — known as a halocline — heat stored in the lower portions of such a “solar pond” isn’t easily lost, and can thus be used at will to move turbine and thus to generate electricity.
While quite a different way of making use of passive solar energy design principles than say passive solar houses, solar updraft towers, or solar thermal power plants, solar ponds are fairly economically attractive — due to the low costs of the materials in question, and the low-tech nature of the systems.
Despite that being the case, the technology hasn’t been widely deployed in recent times — with only a few large-scale deployments being known in the western world…
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