Solar Thermal Plants - New rays of hope for solar power's future

by parulgupta8ue on Sep 19, 2008      Category: Energy Tags: appropriate technology renewable energy solar

Spread in military rows across 300 acres of sun-baked earth, Nevada Solar One's trough-shaped parabolic mirrors are the core of a concentrating solar power (CSP) plant – also called a “solar thermal” plant. The mirrors focus sunlight onto receiver tubes, heating a fluid that, at 735 degrees F., flows through a heat exchanger to a steam generator that supplies 64 megawatts of electricity to 14,000 Las Vegas homes.

Photovoltaic panels that produce electricity directly from the sun's rays work well on rooftops, but are still too costly for utility-scale power generation. Solar thermal, however, is nearing the cost of a natural gas-fired turbine power plant – making it a winner with several power companies that have signed long-term contracts to purchase solar-thermal power.

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I have been voluntarily involved with many NGOs in India since 2002. I strongly believe that all of us can do more by coming together, sharing ideas and working together to address social issues! A techie by training - I have a Bachelor of Technology from IIT Bombay and Masters of Science from more


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