Environmental impacts of large-scale solar plants on desert region: modeling ground temperature

Author(s): Ke Xu, Hengxu Zhang
Key Lab. of Power System Intelligent Dispatch and Control of Ministry of Education (Shandong University), Jinan 250061, China
International Journal of Smart Grid and Clean Energy, vol. 3, no. 4, October 2014: pp. 390-394
ISSN: 2315-4462 (Print)
ISSN: 2373-3594 (Online)
Digital Object Identifier: 10.12720/sgce.3.4.

AbstractLarge-scale PV plants changing the amount of solar radiation received by ground, reducing moisture evaporation, will have influences on ecological environment. This paper used meteorological data from NASA, selected ground temperature as the main object to figure out analytical solution of temperature field and laid a solid foundation of researching relationship between solar plant coverage and environment changing. Firstly, traditional heat transfer formulas are applied to establish the model of the ground temperature. Secondly, the model results are calculated. Finally, data from Golmud is chosen to analyze environmental impacts of large-scale solar plants on arid region. The results show a typical PV plants with a coverage ratio of 60%, ground temperature declines 15℃ in summer and 6℃ in winter. The average ground temperature decline in whole year is approximately 3 to 5℃. It turned out that large-scale PV panels will change average ground temperature, which will reduce the air temperature, conserve water and accelerate the growth of plants, thus have a potential influence on environment.

KeywordsSolar energy; desert; solar radiation; ground temperature; thermal balance

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