12 Jul '11 01:18

http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-07-gemasolar-solar-thermal-power-hours.html

Provides almost 20 megawatts 20 to 24 hours a day right now! It means 30,000 tons a year less CO2 crammed into the atmosphere!

Great project! The only downside I see is in the photo, it is taken from a long ways away, the tower is 150 meters high and the solar field is about 700 meters in diameter. From the shadow dots you can see in the image where the sun is being blocked by the reflectors, it is clearly way less than 50 percent in usage of the available space.

The area represents a huge radiation of energy, looks like almost 500,000 square meters and on top of the atmosphere, there is about 1000 watts per square meter, maybe 30 % of that reaches the ground, so 300 watts per meter on the Earth. That represents about 150 megawatts or so if the conversion was 100%, or 37 megawatts or so at 25% so to get 20 Mw out of 500,000 square meters seems a bit inefficient in terms of extracting as much energy as possible from each square meter.

It is inefficient simply because of the spacing of the reflectors. There is clearly sunlight between the reflectors that could be paved with PV cells so you could get the best of both technologies.

Clearly, engineering improvements are there to be had.

Provides almost 20 megawatts 20 to 24 hours a day right now! It means 30,000 tons a year less CO2 crammed into the atmosphere!

Great project! The only downside I see is in the photo, it is taken from a long ways away, the tower is 150 meters high and the solar field is about 700 meters in diameter. From the shadow dots you can see in the image where the sun is being blocked by the reflectors, it is clearly way less than 50 percent in usage of the available space.

The area represents a huge radiation of energy, looks like almost 500,000 square meters and on top of the atmosphere, there is about 1000 watts per square meter, maybe 30 % of that reaches the ground, so 300 watts per meter on the Earth. That represents about 150 megawatts or so if the conversion was 100%, or 37 megawatts or so at 25% so to get 20 Mw out of 500,000 square meters seems a bit inefficient in terms of extracting as much energy as possible from each square meter.

It is inefficient simply because of the spacing of the reflectors. There is clearly sunlight between the reflectors that could be paved with PV cells so you could get the best of both technologies.

Clearly, engineering improvements are there to be had.