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parabolic troughs
21 dec 2003
the largest and most efficient solar electric technology people have
so far managed to develop is called the "parabolic trough solar power
plant." such plants consist of long rows of mirrors curved in the shape
of parabolas, which bounce and focus sunlight onto insulated pipes,
heating a fluid to make steam and drive a turbine... nine plants were
built in california's mojave desert in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
those plants produced more electricity through the end of the last century
than all other solar electric tecnnologies in the entire world combined!
[this includes all direct solar to electricity conversion technologies
including power towers, dish sterling systems, and photovoltaics, but
does not include wind or hydroelectric technology.]

from the return of the solar cat book, by jim augustyn, pe,
patty paw press, 2003, distributed by chelsea green, $14.95.


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