SolarReserve and Rocketdyne are planning on creating a solar power plant in California that uses a unique technology to generate energy--molten salt.
According to SolarReserve the plant would use an array of 15,000, 25 foot-wide, tilting mirrors which would direct sunlight to a solar collector sitting a top a 600 foot tower. Inside the collector would be molten salt. The mirrors would heat the salt to over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
The molten salt would then be mixed with water to produce steam, which would then propel an electricity generating turbine. Once cooled, the molten salt would be returned to the receiver. The greatest advantage of the technology is that heated molten salt can last for days--so the energy does not always rely on sunshine. As SolarReserve President, Terry Murray says, "Molten salt is the secret sauce."
The power plant is expected to create enough energy to service 100,000 homes. SolarReserve and Roketdyne are hoping their project will be fully operational by 2012.
Read the full story at the Chicago Tribune: Solar Power: Just Add Salt
Image courtesy of power-technology.com
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