A Primer on CSP

McKinnon, J. Thomas
March 2008
World Watch;Mar/Apr2008, Vol. 21 Issue 2, p29
This article discusses four approaches that dominate concentrating solar power technology: parabolic trough, power tower, dish-Stirling, and linear Fresnel. Parabolic trough technology is the oldest. Since its Mojave Desert commercial debut in 1985, parabolic troughs have pumped out more watthours than all other solar electric technologies combined. Power towers are regarded as highly promising although they suffer from less field experience than parabolic trough technology. A dish-Stirling power station resembles a field of giant sunflowers in an Erector Set fantasy. Linear Fresnel systems use multiple, slightly curved, independently tracked mirrors that together approximate the shape of one huge trough mirror.


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