Wednesday, 20 July 2016

which is efficient on solar electricity by photo voltaic or thermal

One could argue that fossil fuels and hydro are also solar energy... As for the relative efficiencies of your named methods you haven't put much effort into even sketching out the relevant parameters for each and how they might change from, e.g., small (one meter square) to very large (square kilometer) installations. – Jon Custer Jan 4 at 15:52
    
That's why I mention Personal and government. Simply I want to know which is more energy harvesting per squire meter? – sugunan Jan 4 at 15:55
    
Well, the answer depends on various parameters. Note that Bill Gates can probably afford a personal molten salt plant, so personal vs government is not relevant. And efficiency can be described in many ways, from absolute theoretical thermodynamic efficiency do $/kWh... – Jon Custer Jan 4 at 16:03
    
This might be more of an economic question. Wholesale electricity prices have always fluctuated throughout the day, and photovoltaic solar is pushing the midday prices down. Thermal storage of solar heat allows the production of electricity at night, when prices are higher. For personal use, prices are usually quoted up front and constant throughout the day. – MSalters Jan 4 at 16:26
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Everything engineering related in the end boils down to economics. Physics is just a means to satisfy the economics requirements. Why would anybody build thermal plants? Because they can get more money for the energy off the solar peak than on-peak. There is also a strong engineering base for thermodynamic power plants, and those folks like a piece of the pie, too. – CuriousOne Jan 4 at 19:32

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