We have featured Concentrated Solar Power several times in this space, so it was nice to see that the Science section of the New York Times is finally starting to cover large-scale solar thermal plants used for generating electricity. (An article on SkyStream wind turbines is in the same section!)
“’You take the energy the sun is putting into the earth that day, store it and capture it, put it into the reservoir, and use it on demand,’ said Terry Murphy, president and chief executive of SolarReserve, a company backed in part by United Technologies, the Hartford conglomerate.
Power plants are typically designed with a heat production system matched to their electric generators. Mr. Murphy sees no reason why his should. His design is for a power tower that can supply 540 megawatts of heat. At the high temperatures it could achieve, that would produce 250 megawatts of electricity, enough to run a fair-size city.” –Matthew L. Wald, New York Times, April 15, 2008
One of the most photogenic examples of a Power Tower is Seville, Spain’s 40-story high tower (shown above in a BBC photograph), operated by Solucar.