Tower Receiver CSP

Solar power towers use sunlight reflected from a series of mirrors to a central point called a receiver. The receiver collects the energy as heat which then ultimately turn turbines to generate electricity. For industrial scale power generation, the receiver is mounted on a tall tower in the centre of a large solar field. Hundreds or even thousands of heliostats (large mirrors), fill the solar field and reflect sunlight to the tower/receiver.

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Heliostats are large and complex devices that track the sun in daylight hours to maximise the amount of energy focussed on the tower receiver.

As with Parabolic trough solar thermal heat-transfer fluid is used to transport the energy to the turbines to generate steam that turns the turbines to generate electricity. Often water-steam or molten salt is the fluid of choice. Again, the working temperature of the fluid is extremely high, between 500–800 °C. An advantage of the solar tower is the reflectors can be adjusted instead of the whole tower. Power-tower development is less advanced than trough systems, but they offer higher efficiency and better energy storage capability.

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