The sun is the largest source of renewable energy and this energy is abundantly available in all parts of the earth. It is in fact one of the best alternatives to the non-renewable sources of energy. Solar energy has been used since prehistoric times, but in a most primitive manner. Before 1970, some research and development was carried out in a few countries to exploit solar energy more efficiently, but most of this work remained mainly academic . After the dramatic rise in oil prices in the 1970s, several countries began to formulate extensive research and development programmes to exploit solar energy . One way to tap solar energy is through the use of solar ponds. Solar ponds are large-scale energy collectors with integral heat storage for supplying thermal energy. It can be use for various applications, such as process heating, water desalination, refrigeration, drying and power generation. Solar energy is an abundent and renewble energy source.the annual solar energy incident at the ground in india is about 20,000 times the current electrical energy consumption.the use of solar energy in india has beenVery limited .this is because solar energy is a dilute source(average daily solar energy incident in india is 5Kwh/m2 day)and hence must be collected over large areas resulting in high initial capital investment,it is also an intermediate enery source Hence solar enery systems must incorporate storage in order to take care of energy needs during nights and cloudy days.this results in further increase in the capital cost of such systems.one way to overcome this problem is to use a large body of water for the collegtion and storage of solar energy.this concept is called solar pond.
2. SOLAR POND
1. A solar pond is a body of water that collects and stores solar energy. Solar energy will warm a body of water (that is exposed to the sun), but the water loses its heat unless some method is used to trap it. Water warmed by the sun expands and rises as it becomes less dense. Once it reaches the surface, the water loses its heat to the airthrough convection, or evaporates, taking heat with it. The colder water, which is heavier, moves down to replace the warm water, creating a natural convective circulation that mixes the water and dissipates the heat. The design of solar ponds reduces either convection or evaporation in order to store the heat collected by the pond. They can operate in almost any climate . 2. A solar pond can store solar heat much more efficiently than a body of water of the same size because the salinity gradient prevents convection currents. Solar radiation entering the pond penetrates through to the lower layer, which contains concentrated salt solution. The temperature in this layer rises since the heat it absorbs from the sunlight is unable to move upwards to the surface by convection. Solar heat is thus stored in the lower layer of the pond. 3. It is an artificially constructed water pond in which significant temperature rises are caused in the lower regions by preventing the occurrence of convection currents. The more specific terms salt-gradient solar pond or non-convecting solar pond are also used. The solar pond, which is actually a large area solar collector is a simple technology that uses water- a pond between one to four metres deep as a working material for three main functions. 4. The solar pond possesses a thermal storage capacity spanning the seasons. The surface area of the pond affects the amount of solar energy it can collect. The bottom of the pond is generally lined with a durable plastic liner made from material such as black polythene and hypalon reinforced with nylon mesh. This dark surface at the bottom of the pond increases the absorption of solar radiation. Salts like magnesium chloride, sodium chloride or sodium nitrate are dissolved in the water, the concentration being densest at the bottom (20% to 30%) and gradually decreasing to almost zero at the top....
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