Solar power plants

Solar Techno Park

This is a direct-type power generating system, which concentrates sunlight through heliostats on a receiver (multi-junction solar cell with a secondary light-concentrating function) installed at top. Tower has a height of 20 m, sunlight concentration ratio of 1000, and generated power from the plant of 40-60 KW. The site is located at Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan. Read more

Solar Techno Park

Sunflowers inspire more efficient solar power system

"The idea is that wherever the sun goes, it will follow," Just like sunflowers, the solar panels maximize their own exposure, without the use of complex GPS tracking systems, by using a nano-composite that expands and contracts in response to the sun’s location. Direct sunlight hits a mirror beneath the solar panel, focused onto one of multiple actuators. This causes the entire assembly to bow in the direction of the strongest sunlight. As the sun moves across the sky, the actuators will cool and re-expand, and new ones will shrink, re-positioning the panel over the 180 degrees of sky that the sun covers in the course of the day. Read more

Sunflowers inspire more efficient solar power system

How Solar Thermal Enhanced Oil Recovery System Works

It uses fields of tracking mirrors, known as heliostats, controlled by proprietary software to concentrate sunlight onto a solar boiler atop a tower. This boiler produces high-temperature, high-pressure steam, which is pumped deep into a sub-surface oil reservoir in order to heat the area. This increases the pressure of the reservoir and reduces the viscosity of the oil, making it easier to bring to the surface. To conserve water use, the steam is cooled and recycled. Read more

Solar Thermal Enhanced Oil Recovery System

The IVANPAH solar thermal power system

To produce clean and reliable solar electricity. It will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 400,000 tons per year. The site covers approximatly 3,500 acres. It can generated Power of 370-392 MW. Total number of plants are three. The height of the tower is 450 foot. The total number of heliostats are 173000. The power plant is able to Serve homes of 140,000 and produce Jobs of 2100. Construction is commenced on October 2010, and the expected completion date is 2013. The site is located at Ivanpah Dry Lake, California. Read more

The IVANPAH solar thermal power system

COALINGA solar-to-steam facility

Extracting heavy-oil reserves, like the ones found at Coalinga, is a global challenge. According to a recent report by SBI, conventional oil recovery methods are only able to extract about 10% - 30% of the original oil from any given reservoir, leaving nearly 70- 90% of the reservoir’s oil untouched. The report estimates that an additional 241.7 billion barrels of oil could be added to worldwide proven reserves with the implementation of enhanced oil recovery methods. COALINGA solar-to-steam facility is the world’s largest solar enhanced oil recovery facility. The site covers size of 100 acres. It can produce power of 29 MW thermal and approximately 13 MWe (megawatts electric). The height of the tower is 327 feet. Number of Heliostats are 3,822. The project is completed on September 2011. The site is located at Coalinga, California. Read more

COALINGA solar-to-steam facility

How Solar Thermal Plant Works

Solar thermal power plant includes five processes. 1) Sunlight is concentrated and directed from a large field of heliostats to a receiver on a tall tower. 2) Liquid salt from the cold salt tank is pumped through the receiver where it is heated to 1050 °F. 3) The heated salt from the receiver is stored in the hot salt tank. 4) Hot salt is pumped from the hot salt tank through a steam generator to create steam, which drives a steam turbine, generating electricity. 5) Cold salt at 525 °F flows back to the cold salt tank. Read more

How Solar Thermal Plant Works

Hidden Hills solar thermal system

At Hidden Hills, mirrors will track the sun in two dimensions and reflect the sunlight to boilers that sit atop two 750 foot tall towers. When the concentrated sunlight strikes the boilers’ pipes, it heats the water to create superheated steam. This high-temperature steam is then piped from the boiler to a standard turbine where electricity is generated. From here, transmission lines carry the power to homes and businesses. The site is located at Pahrump Valley, Inyo County, California. Size covers 3280 acres with 340,000 Mirrors (heliostats) that produce power of 500-540 MW. This plant produces 1,030 jobs, and serves 178,000 homes annually. Expected construction will start in 2013. Read more

Hidden Hills solar thermal system

The Rio Mesa solar thermal power system

It will produce electricity by creating high- temperature steam to turn a conventional turbine. However, instead of burning fossil fuels to create the steam, they use the clean and infinite sun as fuel. The site is located at Riverside County, California. The site covers 4,070 acres with power production of 500 MW, which will serve 200,000 homes annually. Expected construction will start in 2013. Read more

The Rio Mesa solar thermal power system

Solar Energy Development Center (SEDC)

The SEDC power tower and surrounding heliostats concentrate the sun’s energy onto the boiler, heating the water inside up to 540° C, or more than 1000° F. The site is located at Rotem, Israel. It will produce power of 6 MW thermal with glass mirrors (heliostats) of 1,600, and the tower has a height of 60 m. The site started producing electricity in 2008. Read more

Solar Energy Development Center (SEDC) power tower

Micro-scaled Concentrated Solar Power Plant

The plant contains over 1,000 parabolic trough solar collectors. It uses the sun's heat to create steam. The cite is located at Kona District, Hawaiʻi, USA. it produces power of 0.1–2 MW with a size of 3 acres. Read more

Micro-scaled Concentrated Solar Power Plant

Australian Solar Plant Generates Supercritical Steam

Australian Solar Plant Generates Supercritical Steam, which the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is hailing as a world record. Previously, supercritical steam has only been possible through fossil fuels like coal or gas. However, in Newcastle, Australia, one plant generated 23.5 megapascals and 570° C (or 1,058° F) using 600 heliostats. Solar plants usually generate subcritical steam, operating at lower pressure.

Australian Solar Plant Generates Supercritical Steam

IBM solar collector

Solar collectors can concentrate so much energy, but they need to cool themselves. An IBM-led group is working on a new collector dish that could avoid over-heating problem while keeping solar power efficiency. The hundreds of photovoltaic chips are placed at the center and will be cooled by the same sort of microchannel water cooling. The collector could concentrate 2,000 times the solar energy. It is expected to generate about 25kW of energy while costing less to make through cheaper mirrors and structures. Read more

IBM solar collector

Weizmann “beam down” central receiver plant

Heliostats are used to collect the sunlight, and a reflector is used for redirecting the light toward the pompound parabolic concentrator (CPC). Then, concentrated photovoltaic cells produce electricity.

Weizmann beam down central receiver plant