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Concentrating Solar Power

Solar Receiver Tubes for Thermodynamic Power Plants
Archimede Solar Energy Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) systems produce electricity in a similar way to conventional power stations, using steam to drive a turbine. The difference is that the energy comes from solar radiation and is converted into high-temperature heat, between 400 and 1000ºC, using hundreds of mirrors.
Many different types of systems are possible, including combinations with other technologies. So far, for example, plants with both solar output and some fossil fuel co-firing have been favored because help to produce a reliable peak-load supply even on less sunny days.
Moreover, CSP does not contribute to climate change and uses a source like the sun that will never run out.

The CSP technology allows the conversion of solar radiation into thermal energy, through a concentrator made by reflecting areas that focus the sun rays on to a receiver. Both concentrator and receiver constitute the trough.

On the basis of the geometry and the concentrator’s placement respect the receiver, there can be four different CSP systems:
 
 
   
     

The southwestern part of the United States is one of the world's best areas for insolation and the Mojave Desert receives the sunlight up to twice respecting other regions of the Country.

There are several solar power plants in this area which supply power to the electricity grid. These plants have a combined capacity of 354 megawatts (MW) making them the largest solar power installation. Typically, individual CSP plants are between 50 and 280MW in size.

Other promising areas of the world to apply CSP technology include Southern Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East, parts of India, China, and Australia. These regions have peculiar territorial features as large amounts of atmospheric humidity, dust and fumes so that 1 sq km of land is enough to generate 100-130 GW/h of solar electricity a year, using solar thermal technology.


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