R&D Engineers are playing critical roles in reducing costs and improving efficiency in renewable energy systems. This program looks at leading edge research in three subsystems in concentrating solar power: the collector field, the solar receiver and the power block. We visit a solar plant near Los Angeles where engineers are challenging the assumption that "bigger is better" when it comes to mirror assemblies. We also visit Sandia National Laboratories where engineers are testing both an innovative solar receiver and power block. The receiver uses falling sand to capture heat. The power block uses supercritical CO2 to generate electricity. With advances from this type of research, the U.S. Department of Energy to predicts that Concentrating Solar Power will be cost competitive by 2020.
Produced and written by Roger Torda, ASME Public Information.
ASME Energy Forum is a new, year-long multi-media series that explores the technical aspects and workings of a broad range of energy sources and related technologies. From solar power and hydro to fuel cell vehicles and wind power, you'll get leading technical expert perspectives on how these energy sources and technologies work, the technical issues and challenges, and the economic implications for businesses.Learn more
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