Solar Ponds

Those large areas of the planet covered by salt ponds may be yet be of some use after all. Work today is being carried on in Israel where they have the best location for work of this kind, that being the Dead Sea where they have built a power station using heat stored in this sea . There are also other areas in the United States of America and even in Australia.

Areas In rural Australia which are being destroyed by a salt may yet be made useful for energy production. These Ponds to be useful must have three differing zones of salt concentration not easy to obtain which work together to trap and store heat originating from the sun.

The surface zone the lightest in salinity allows the heat to travel down but not upwards and also acts as buffer to the second zone. The second zone prevents heat from returning to the surface.

The third zone with the greater concentration of salinity acts as thermal storage and readily absorbing the solar heat rays`.

The weather pattern in the area has a great bearing on the effect of this heat storage pond where evaporation and wind patterns can completely destroy any heat storage capability The wind can cause the three zones to mix therefore destroying the heat thermal storage properties of the pond.

Floating wind barriers have been introduced to reduce the ripple effect of the wind across many lake surfaces. Some solar ponds can have a temperature of 100 degree c in the lower zone, whilst having a considerable lower one on the top zone.

. Brine is pumped from the pond at the correct level and passed through a heat exchanger and maybe a temperature phase changer and is put towards a number uses from power generation to desalination plants. Water from the top of lake could be used in the process for cooling as there is a temperature difference between the zones.

Although a large surface is required for the collection of the solar energy ,I have noticed an effect when I was storing gherkins in large wooden barrels containing salt water. When the gherkins were removed and the brine was left to stand after a period of time in the sun there was always a cold top layer and a warmer bottom layer whenever I inserted my hand to drain them.

I am sure this idea using a large wooden barrel or insulated container bottom and sides and connected to solar panel with water flowing to bottom layer could be used as a heat storage unit. This could also be improved by having a glass top to direct sunlight into bottom layer .

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