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Solar farming is a large-scale installation of solar panels that serves as a power plant. Solar farms, as opposed to household solar panels, place their solar panels into the ground across massive amounts of land. On a receiver filled with molten salt, solar panels capture the sun’s energy. When the salt hits 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The solar panels then retain the collected energy. You can utilize the stored energy whenever necessary. Later, heat will convert into water, which can help to power the system.

Photovoltaic plants and solar thermal systems are the two most often utilized solar technologies for solar farming. They differ, though, is how they harness the sun’s energy to create electricity.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) farming

Photovoltaic solar panels employ PV solar cells to convert the sun’s energy into electricity. A photovoltaic cell is made up of multiple layers of different materials, each serving a distinct purpose. The specifically treated semiconductor layer is the most crucial part in a photovoltaic cell.

They are created using semiconductor materials such as silicon. A photovoltaic solar farm is like a PV domestic solar system, however, on a much larger scale, such as a few hundred square meters.

Farming with solar thermal power

Solar thermal power farming is a very different system from PV solar power farming. They gather sunlight, which generates steam, which then passes through a turbine, producing power. Solar thermal power farms are classified into three types based on the same idea. There are three of them: parabolic troughs, solar power towers, and solar ponds.

1. troughs parabolic

The most common kind of thermal solar is the parabolic trough. There are several rows of energy collectors in these. These generate heat fluid, which is collected at a central collecting unit. It produces a high-pressure heated stream that is fed into turbines to produce power.

2. Solar-powered ponds

Simply put, solar ponds are man-made saltwater pools that capture and store thermal energy. These solar ponds’ bottoms have extremely high temperatures. By allowing storing sunlight, they operate as an insulator. The heated water then pipes out and used to generate energy via a turbine.

3. Solar energy tower

A solar power tower can survive intense heat and even sand storms. They do, however, operate effectively in regions with harsh weather conditions, such as the Mojave Desert. Mirrors that monitor the sun and reflect its energy to a central reception tower. It warms the air in the system, stored in a boiler and used to generate energy via a steam turbine.

Advantages of Solar Farming

  1. Solar farms produce clean, environmentally friendly energy, which significantly reduces carbon emissions.
  2. Solar farms have reduced maintenance costs and deliver a high return on investment.
  3. They do not contribute to noise pollution. This is because they do not have any moving components. 
  4. Solar farms may also profit from producing energy in locations with little to no access to power networks and distilling water in areas with limited clean water supply.

Fact: Longyangxia Dam Solar Park in China is the world’s largest solar panel farm. Every day, the solar farm generates roughly 850 MW.

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