Solar Power Structures

By Xah Lee. Date: .

There are 2 major types of massive scale solar energy mechanism. Most popular is by photovoltaic effect. I.e. Solar panels. Industrial level ones have panes spanning a small town, typically in some desert area. The biggest as of 2018-12-30, is 1547 MW Tengger Desert solar park, in China.

The other type is Concentrated Solar Power (aka CSP). Mirrors focus light to a point to to heat up some liquid. Then, steam engine etc turn that into electricity.

Of CSP, there are 2 main types: ① parabolic trough. ② solar ray tower. The parabolic trough uses extruded parabola mirrors to focus light into a line, typically a pipe containing liquid, heating it up to 350°C. The solar ray tower type heats up liquid to up to 1000°C, is more efficient and more spectacular.

The biggest CSP as of 2018-12-30, is 397 MW Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in Mojave Desert, USA.

solar furnace of Odeillo-s383x163
Solar Furnace Odeillo France
China solar CSP 4aabb-s289x216
Solar Tower Dunhuang
Crescent Dunes Solar December 2014 cf343-s309x203
Crescent Dunes Solar
PS10 solar power tower Spain 2-s375x167
PS10 Solar Power
parabolic solar trough Negev desert Israel-s289x216
Solar Parabolic Trough
solar mirror dish  Ripasso  Kalahari desert  Jeffrey Barbee 2015-05-13-s323x194
Solar Parabolic Mirror