What is Concentrated Solar Power-

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What is Concentrated Solar Power- Powered By Docstoc
					Concentrated Solar Power, or "CSP," and refers to the type of solar power which is
created by concentrating sunlight into a small area, thus creating intense light and heat
which can in turn create power and electricity. Concentrated Solar Power is one of the
technologies which has been developed in order to harness the energy emitted by the
sun and turn it into useable electricity.

The main difference between concentrated solar power (CSP) systems and other solar
energy systems (such as photovoltaics and solar heating), is that concentrated solar
power uses mirrors and reflectors in order to focus sunlight on a concentrated

- How CSP Solar Energy Systems Work

A simple but accurate comparison to CSP solar energy is the use of a magnifying lens
to focus sunlight on a specific area. But the target of a CSP system is to heat fluids,
not ants or other luckless insects.

The fluids heated by this concentrated solar energy are then turned into steam. The
steam is in turn forced through a fan, and is used to drive a regular steam turbine,
which uses its turning motion to generate electricity through electromagnetic means.

One of the advantages of concentrated solar power is that it is completely compatible
with the contemporary power generators which are used in conventional power plants.
But in the case of CSP solar energy, the "fuel" used to generate steam is sunlight, not
oil or coal.

You may be surprised to learn that in the United States, several CSP power plants are
already up and running, and they have performed reliably for the last fifteen years.

At the time of this writing, the least expensive method of using solar power to
produce electricity is the to use concentrated solar power systems.

Research and development projects are underway, with the aim of reducing costs even
further, so that the cost of producing electricity with solar power can eventually
compete with the costs of energy production in conventional power plants.

CSP Solar Energy is just one of many methods of generating solar power and
alternative energy on a broad scale. Another example of broad scale solar power
production is the use of solar power towers, which use an assortment of moving
mirrors (called heliostats) to continuously reflect sunlight into a central area at the top
of the tower. The heliostats are set up so that they move with the movement of the sun,
thus maintaining optimal reflecting power.