central receiver solar power plant
Also known as a power tower, a solar power facility that
uses a field of two-axis tracking mirrors known as heliostats.
Each heliostat is individually positioned by a computer control system to
reflect the sun's rays to a tower-mounted thermal receiver. The effect of
many heliostats reflecting to a common point creates the combined energy
of thousands of suns, which produces high-temperature thermal energy. In
the receiver, molten nitrate salts absorb the heat energy. The hot salt
is then used to boil water to steam, which is sent to a conventional steam
turbine-generator to produce electricity.
| Artist concept of what would be the world's largest
solar power plant in Victoria, Australia. It is scheduled for completion
ENERGY AND POWER