Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Friday, March 13, 2015

Solar Power

Jasmine from The Baghdad Cafe
Posthip Scott sent me a story about Solar Power, which piqued my interest enough to look up some of these places on Google Maps. Until you get up close, most of them don't look like much, they are almost indistinguishable from the background. Most of the ones I looked up are in California's Mojave Desert, which is full of nothing, and big as some of these installations are, they shrink to insignificance when viewed from 100 miles up.
     We've got the picture because the bright spots to either side of Jasmine are caused by dust in the path of concentrated sunlight from the old Solar One plant. Solar One and Solar Two used mirrors to concentrate sunlight to generate steam to drive a turbine, much like a conventional coal fired power plant does. Photovoltaic (solar cells) are getting most of the press  these days, and most of the installations, but a new steam generator called Ivanpah just came online near Las Vegas.

Ivanpah Solar Power Facility. Note the bright areas in the air near the towers.
And just who is Ivanpah? He isn't, it's an old Indian word meaning 'good water'.

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