25 Nov '11, 7pm

Google's Search for More Efficient and Low-cost Solar Thermal Power Plant Designs

It’s interesting to see what Google thought it could contribute to the field of solar thermal power plant engineering. The company’s research has focused on using smaller engines and light-weight mirrors with better controlling software — along with a tower outfitted with equipment to receive the concentrated sunlight and run a turbine and generator — to produce electricity. It ran into some technical challenges with engineering a suitable power tower before it decided to shelve the research project. This power tower design is newer, in terms of deployment, than the parabolic trough technology that uses curved mirrors and fluid-filled tubes to generate steam that run a turbine and generator to produce electricity. The pairing of power towers and the flat mirrors, or heliostats, also can create steam at higher temperatures and are more efficient power plants than the parabo...

Full article: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2011...

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