September 29, 2013
THE AGE OF STEAM:
Solar Power Plant in the Mojave Could Power 140,000 Homes (Josh Dzieza, Sep 28, 2013, Daily Beast)
Posted by Orrin Judd at September 29, 2013 9:57 PMThe massive solar plant nearing completion in the California's Mojave desert doesn't look like the solar plants you might be used to seeing. It has no solar panels, for one thing. Instead, it has mirrors--300,000 of them--all arrayed in rings around three giant towers. The mirrors reflect sunlight onto vats of water sitting on top of the towers, heating them to 500 degrees and powering a steam turbine, providing enough energy for 140,000 homes. When it goes online at the end of the year, it will be one of the biggest solar plants in the world. But the technology at its heart is relatively simple: mirrors, water boilers, and steam turbines.The plant, called Ivanpah, is funded by Google, NRG, and BrightSource, a company that specializes in what's called concentrated solar power, or CSP, a method of using focused sunlight to turn a steam generator.
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