In California there will be a 110-megawatt "solar" power station
Solar Reserve announced today that it has received federal permission to create a thermal “solar” power station that will operate even when the sun goes below the horizon. The company is located in Santa Monica, California, USA, and the plant's capacity is estimated at 110 megawatts. The construction of the station should be completed by mid-2011.
The station was called Crescent Dunes, and the principle of its operation is quite simple - mirrors direct sunlight to the tower, inside which there is salt (probably NaCl, details not specified). When the rays heat the tower to the melting point of salt, the salt melts and drains into a special storage, from where it is pumped through a steam generating system. Steam, in turn, rotates the turbines, as a result of which electricity is generated.
According to the developers, the storage is arranged in such a way that the melt maintains the temperature for eight hours after sunset over the horizon. There are no technical details of such a process, but the design, as we see, is very interesting. Due to the design features, the future power plant has already been recognized as “green”, that is, one that causes minimal harm to the environment.
It turns out that the station is not only “green”, but also economically very profitable, because its cycle of operation is daily, and the station does not stand idle without work. The energy produced by such an energy station is enough to supply 75 thousand households with electric energy. Very impressive, it should be noted. By the way, similar projects will also be implemented in Nevada and Arizona, where there is an abundance of solar energy.