How Does Concentrating Solar strength (CSP) Work?

Concentrating solar strength works by focusing the suns energy and creating heat. This heat is then used to turn traditional generators much like the way steam generates electricity. There are three main types of CSPs: parabolic troughs, strength towers, and dish engine systems.

Parabolic troughs: In this kind of system, solar collectors mirror and concentrate sunlight onto a receiver. Running along the side of the trough is a pipe which contains a liquid, usually some kind of oil. This heated fluid then runs by a traditional steam generator to produce electricity.

A collector field is produced when these CSPs are put into rows. These CSPs are then allowed to move freely to track the sun to maximize its efficiency. Currently parabolic troughs are hybrid systems which use fossil fuel during the times the sun is not present.

strength towers: A strength tower uses mirrors called heliostats that track the sun and mirror the concentrated beams onto a reflector at the bottom of the pole. The sunlight then heats a move fluid like oil which in turn powers a turbine generator.

Some models use molten nitrate salt because it is a superior heat move medium than oil.

Dish engine systems: These systems burns sunlight instead of coal or gas in order to produce electricity. The solar concentrator and the strength conversion unit are the two main elements of this system.

The solar concentrator collects sunlight and concentrates it on a receiver. The surface of the concentrator is reflective glass mirror which reflects approximately 92% of sunlight.

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