More solar energy
1993/10/01 Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria
The U.S. Department of Energy will allocate $39 million to the development of solar energy systems. This type of plant has not proliferated after the California stop of the Barston 10 MW plant in 1988. This plant used the mirror system to concentrate the light rays and obtain steam by heating the water. However, the luminous flux was very irregular and energy production could not remain constant.
The new project, called Solar Two, is basically the same as the previous one, but instead of using water, a solution of nitrate salts heated to 565°C will be used. In this way, the energy is stored and the flow of vapors to the turbos is constant. The behavior of salty nitrate solution has been analyzed in the national laboratory Sandia de Albuquerque (New Mexico) thanks to a research program of 30 million dollars.
California company Edison and ten other industrial partners have raised US$19.5 million to start building the Solar Two plant next summer. It will have a power of 100 MW and is expected to start operating in 1996.