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Forum Post: Cali fires up world's largest solar power plant

Posted 1 year ago on Sept. 26, 2013, 11:29 p.m. EST by Builder (4202)
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Interesting just who is behind the plan, but a good outcome regardless.

"How much energy? Once fully operational, the project is expected to produce 377 megawatts of power that will be sold to two Californian utilities, helping the state’s electricity sector meet ambitious, state-mandated renewable energy goals. During some days it could provide enough power for more than 200,000 homes."

http://grist.org/news/worlds-biggest-solar-thermal-power-plant-fired-up-in-california/

18 Comments

18 Comments


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[-] 2 points by Nevada1 (4784) 1 year ago

Excellent.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

I saw that tower on the 70's

[-] 0 points by factsrfun (6569) from Phoenix, AZ 1 year ago

This is not nearly such good news as it appears. This is a large turbine central source energy supply, designed to keep the source of power centralized and commercial. While it may meet some short term goals "heat engine" electric power will not be the future. It is inherently inefficient.

[-] 0 points by factsrfun (6569) from Phoenix, AZ 1 year ago

Not sure your intent with the link about the urban legend.

[-] 0 points by IrishRevolt (5) 1 year ago

The military was cracking sea water for power back during WWII for their submarines.

The technology is there.

Unfortunately, so is the corporatism.

[-] -1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

When goals for alternative power supplies are set, it's not surprising that energy companies put up the capital, and sell the power at a profit.

It's the short-term method of crony capitalism. I didn't say it was great. It's a start in the right direction though.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6569) from Phoenix, AZ 1 year ago

I do have mixed feelings about efforts like this, it is better than a stick in the eye and every little bit helps as far as keeping the CO2 down so yes right direction. The future of energy production will be mufti-layer solar cells with each layer reacting to a different waveband of light, just as the plants do it, people will move from place to place in electric cars, (aka Tesla) and they will be powered with solar cells.

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

Every form of energy is a vibration.

Light and sound are different frequencies. And as you say, plants absorb every frequency of vibration, except for green, which they reflect. Hence the green colour of leaves.

I'm getting most of my dietary needs from wheatgrass at the moment, supplemented by pumpkin kernels and fresh cherry tomatoes. So you might say that I'm operating on a solar panel myself.

[-] 0 points by RobertHod (1) 1 year ago

Steam production is not effected by aging solar cells, and steam turbines are very efficient and dependable.

There was man 30 years ago that used old mirrors to fill a home made parabola of steel tubing, it was about 20ft OD and could drive a 5 go briggs&stratton converted to steam. It drove a generator.

Low tech is by far the best.

[-] -1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

My only concern for such an array of mirrors, would be a hail storm. But then, solar panels would also be at risk.

Apparenty (from the comments on the site) there are other power plants like this one that utilize a salt slurry to store heat energy overnite. Might be able to upgrade this one in the future.

It certainly is an impressive endeavour.

[-] -1 points by RobertHod (1) 1 year ago

The Boron plant uses molten salt, about 600f I think. And yes, the sump is big enough to generate steam all night, but the output drops.

[-] -1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

Our CSIRO demonstrated a salt slurry solar dam back in the sixties. Simple hole in the ground, with a grid of stainless pipes filled with a gas that ran a turbine. Not sure where that design went, but apparently the gas was one that later proved to punch holes in the ozone layer.

[-] -1 points by RobertHod (1) 1 year ago

A fluorocarbon? Some have radical thermal expansions, later known to dissolve ozone.

[-] -1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

I'm talking maybe thirty-five years ago. The test was conducted on a remote cattle station, where diesel generators usually provide power. The solar heatsink design was more successful than estimated, and the largest cost was trucking in all that salt.

[-] -1 points by RobertHod (1) 1 year ago

Energy storage is now the big quandary. We have a lot of generation devices that will work on large and small scale. Small needs storage more, but grid looses efficiency over distance so could benefit from storage.

I was reading about that molten metal battery posted here,but see that as 10 years off. I've not read about compressed gas storage, hydrogen/oxygen despite the workable technology. Is that the "hindenburgh" syndrome or something else?

[-] 0 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

Every town has a high-tower for water storage, to provide constant pressure to our household taps.

Stored hydro works on the same principal, by using excess power to push water into a height-storage dam or device, to be used later to drive turbines.

This is as basic as it gets. I think of all the lithium-ion batteries that are thrown away simply because of designed obsolescence, and I know that the current PTB don't actually give a hoot about future power storage.

We live in a crony capitalist regime, where the bottom-line is king, and planning for the future is defined by offshoring profits, and avoiding taxes.

No long-term power generation plan (apart from Middle-East takeover) exists.

[-] -1 points by MyBrothersKeeper (-36) 1 year ago

I've been watching this project for a few years now. That's pretty damn cool.