Monday, July 23, 2012

Heliostat power plant

The next entry in our ongoing energy series uses a unique method to heat water (to make steam to turn turbines to generate electricity). Have you ever seen a solar oven? This is essentially a mirror-lined box that reflects the sun's rays onto a central point, where you can cook a hotdog or something. The Planta Solar 10 was the world's first commercial power plant working on the same system, going on line near Seville, Spain, in 2006. An array of movable mirrors are rotated to reflect the sun's rays onto the central tower, where this heats the water to ultimately make electricity. This is different from most solar power, which works on a completely different principle, which I'll get to in a subsequent post. Here are LEGO versions of the PS10 plant by mtrkustoms Alex Fojtik. Mtrkustoms' creation is actually what inspired this whole series on energy.

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