Solar PV and Solar Thermal hot water systems

The largest installed base of solar thermal that I know of is for producing hot water. I think over the last 25 years there are over a million installed solar hot water systems. So from what I understand from your writing you must truck make-up water because the local water available is not suitable to use in a solar thermal farm.

Now for the solar electrical storage. The first commercial application for solar photovoltaic was aids to navigation. The requirements are to charge batteries during sun light hours using solar PV panels or plates as we once called them back in the late 60's and 70's. These aids to navigation are to ensure safe passage of vessels on the water ways. Before the solar plates, a crew would have to replace the batteries every 45-60 days. It was not an easy task even as a young man moving very heavy batteries over a boat that moves with the weight changes. I can tell you now we did not carry water for washing the solar plates. We used sea water or the fresh river water and it was not a big deal. The big deal was dealing with bird droppings. And then one day we solved that problem with springs to keep the birds off the solar plates.

Well back to the Off Grid Solar applications. More and more home owners are installing solar PV and Solar Thermal on their homes. I know that worldwide there must be millions of these systems installed. Then someone said let's do net metering for home owners. And they all jumped on that band wagon. Then about 6 years ago came the solar PV farmers that are not real farmers but business men and bankers and investors. There are advantages to solar thermal in hot climates and dry climates. Heat is the main energy here. Then from what I know you take the heat and either use a sterling motor or use the heat for producing steam. The steam in turn feed a steam turbine and the turbine turns a generator. The steam or water is really the fuel for the system. Without the water nothing happens. With Solar PV systems this is a direct electric producing system. In the past a solar PV farm did not use batteries. It depended 100% on the sun's energy. Now since the FERC changed the rules about Gen and Co-Gen for producing reliable electric power. In other words so what if a cloud passes a gen and co gen system still produces electric power. Well what a gen and co-gen photovoltaic system really is in simple terms is an Off Grid Solar Photovoltaic System. It is made up of huge amounts of batteries as the gen system to provide the electric power to one solar inverter and an array of solar photovoltaic panels to keep the batteries full of electric power. This is how an off grid solar system works. Just like the systems installed back in the 60's with the only difference is the inverter. Our sun is the largest source of energy. Solar PV can produce 350,000,000 terawatts a year. Solar thermal can produce 100,000,000 terawatts a year.

All the other forms of energy known to man fuels, wind, tide wave, geothermal and biofuels total up to 11,165,000 terawatts a year. Yes solar thermal and solar PV alone can power the world's electrical needs for the next 2,000 years. The problem is the way we distribute power.

Today all the wires used on the gird cannot transmit even 10,800,000 terawatts a year. It is not designed to hold that kind of power. Plus again this is a year's time in energy usage. We have outgrown the need is far greater for many reasons. We have a need for more power but not the tools to get it to us in a reliable manner. The grid fails all the time. Because it was never designed to supply so many and so much power over long distances. That is the problem. The fix is not to add more wires. The fix is to rethink the problem differently. You can never fix a problem by thinking the same way that caused the problem. This is why more and more homeowners and businesses are installing solar PV and solar thermal hot water systems.

You may interest String inverter VS Micro inverter.