What is Concentrated Solar Power?

Concentrated Solar Power, or CSP, is the process of generating electricity by using the heat from sunlight to push a steam turbine that is connected to an electric generator. There are different ways to go about this but one of the most eye catching methods is the “power tower.” A tall tower is constructed in the middle of a field of mirrors, or more specifically, a field of heliostats. Heliostats are mirrors that track the path of the sun and reflect the light towards the power tower (which then turns that light/heat into electricity using steam turbines).

To learn more about how CSP works, watch this great video from Top Gear as they visit one the world’s first solar power tower.

In more recent news, the soon-to-be largest CSP plant has reached the halfway point of construction. The 370 Mega-Watt Ivanpah Concentrating Solar Power Plant is located in the Mojave Desert in California. Once completed, it will generate enough electricity to power more than 140,000 California homes and businesses.

The Ivanpah project will provide $400 million in local and state tax revenues, and produce $650 million in wages, over its first 30-year life. (Source: REVE)

Look for more CSP plants popping up in the near future. It is one of the more promising methods of producing sustainable electricity considering there is plenty of ideal space for these plants in generally inhospitable , sunny, desert environments.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Environment, Green Technology, Innovation, Renewable Energy, Solar

One response to “What is Concentrated Solar Power?

  1. alona

    This is informative. Just like the solar energy use in Australia is very helpful to thousands of people. We thank your Sol. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s