Heliostats in the desert
The Masdar Institute, based in Abu Dhabi, is doing research on a concentrating solar power generation system that it hopes will use less water and be more efficient than existing designs. In this research project, a field of heliostats, or mirrors that track the sun, reflect light onto a tower to heat air (most existing designs heat water or another liquid). That hot pressurized air will be run through a turbine to make electricity. Hot air will also be used for energy storage by heating water and then running steam through a Rankine steam engine to make power at night, researchers say.
March 8, 2010 12:03 PM PST
Photo by: Martin LaMonica/CNET
| Caption by: Martin LaMonica
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