Doesn’t that just sound like the biggest nerd pr0n video of all time?!
I just saw an article over at ThinkProgress.org about a solar power plant in Spain that is using reflected solar thermal power to heat salts that stay molten for a long time, and then using that heat during the evening hours to maintain a constant stream of collected energy to electricity for customer demand. The idea of using hundreds of heliostats to focus daytime sun onto essentially a bucket of something to collect solar energy is not new, we’ve been doing it for a long time. It’s always interesting, however, exactly what stories get peoples’ attention. I’m always grateful whenever cool tech makes regular news.
PS, a heliostat is the combination of a very, very specular mirror of the planar variety (usually) that is attached to something that makes it continually point so that it is focusing its reflected beam of light onto a target. When you put several hundred of these things together in a field shining at something like they use in solar thermal collection, you get beams of light that create some of the most intense melting heat we know on Earth. Like this:
Here’s the video from CNN:
Thanks for the image, Wikipedia!