September 22, 2016

...AND CHEAPER...:

How solar power towers generate electricity at night (jake Port, 9/21/16, Cosmos)

This is where solar power towers shine. They capture the sun's energy during the day and store it to be used after sundown.

If you've ever used a magnifying glass on a sunny day, you might have noticed that if you place it at just the right angle and distance from an object, it focuses light into an intense point.

This is essentially how a solar tower collects heat.

Thousands of moveable mirrors called heliostats on the ground are angled to reflect sunlight to a central receiver at the top of the tower.

That concentrated heat can turn water into steam to power a turbine - or, in newer models, be stored in a "hot tank" full of molten sodium or salts (such as a mix of potassium nitrate and sodium nitrate) sitting around 550 °C.

Posted by at September 22, 2016 6:43 PM

  

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