The group of developers under the leadership of Bob Uegenga (Bob Wegeng) from the Pacific northwest national laboratory (USA) presented the system uniting heliothermal and usual thermal power.
Essence in the following: the group of parabolic mirrors decomposes natural gas (and air), previously heated by the heat exchanger due to low-potential heat of products of its combustion, to a mix of carbon monoxide and hydrogen in the afternoon. Total synthesis gas has higher calorific ability, than gas natural that allows the turbine of power plant to give out more energy at the same consumption of fossil fuel. Decrease in emissions of carbon dioxide on kilowatt-hour of the received electric power is called as other serious advantage of the new scheme. Certainly, at night when the Sun isn't present, the thermal power plant will be able to work at usual natural gas.
On tests the parabolic mirror transferred 60% of sunlight to chemical energy. (Here and lower than PNNL photo. )
This summer in Richlanda that in the State of Washington, quite large field tests of development are planned. Place, frankly speaking, not so successful: it is far not the most solar state of the USA, and the technology is recommended to be applied where especially chilly and hot — we will tell, in California.
Obviously, developers are aimed at really outstanding result, after all by 2020 (approximate date of readiness of technology to introduction) they intend to achieve such ratio of expenses and return that heliothermal generation synthesis gas allowed to receive energy from gas thermal power plant for 6 cents for one kilowatt-hour that isn't one quarter lower almost than indicators of the American thermal power plants.
How they it it is reached? First, means of utilization of energy of the Sun are simple to primitiveness: sparkling parabolic mirror. Yes, them about 3 thousand on thermal power plant in 500 MWt is required much, but and they cost cheaper unlike photo cells and don't degrade almost over time.
Secondly, in laboratory tests it was succeeded to convert 60% of energy of sunlight in the chemical energy reserved in synthesis gas. And it is the result several times exceeding achievements of the best single-layer silicon photo cells (the truth, in the same laboratories)!