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Solar Thermal: Tech on the Rebound

Mon, 06/11/2007 - 12:26pm

e_arrows.jpgpowerProductive Product: Try, try again: it might work for solar thermal technology, which unlike traditional solar power can still generator power in the evening. A 64-megawatt plant just opened outside of Las Vegas, but even at that scale it may not be efficient enough to offer mainstream cost savings. Explained by News.com, "Solar thermal plants, also called concentrated solar power plants, harvest heat from the sun with highly polished mirrors. The mirrors concentrate the heat on a tube filled with liquid or gas. Pressure builds inside the tube, and the pressure is then exploited to crank a turbine. Heat is harvested by the mirrors. What can't be economically converted to electricity at the time it's obtained can be stored in molten salts at these plants. Thus, solar thermal plants are capable of generating electricity at night."

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