Have you ever heard of using a mirror or magnifying glass to heat something up on the pavement during a hot, sunny day?
Concentrated solar power works in a similar way.
Unlike photovoltaic (PV) systems, or traditional residential solar systems, which use the sun’s light to generate electricity, concentrating solar power systems generate electricity using the sun’s heat. The U.S was a pioneer in the development of CSP, or solar thermal power, and California’s Mojave Desert hosts some of the earliest operating CSP plants in the world, installed in the 1980s. At a CSP installation, mirrors reflect the sun to a focal point which has an receiver that collects and stores heat energy. Eventually, the heat is used to power an engine or turbine that is connected to an electricity generator. Concentrated Solar Panels are used in utility-scale applications to help provide power to an electricity grid. CSP plants require significant infrastructure for collecting steam and generating electricity, and large areas of land, which limits project design options and locations for CSP plants and generally makes them an option for large-scale generation only.
CSP is only available for large, utility-scale installations, but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from solar power in other ways. Consider installing a solar PV system to cut down on your electricity bill costs. SuperGreen Solutions of Charleston can help you pick out the perfect solar system for your needs.