Sunrise for solar heat power
Nearly a century ago, American engineer Frank Shuman erected five immense, trough-shaped mirrors in Meadi, Egypt. The parabolic reflectors directed sunlight onto a tube suspended above their 200-foot lengths. Water inside the tubes boiled and created steam. The steam powered a 65-horsepower engine, which pumped 6,000 gallons of water per minute from the Nile River to nearby cotton fields. It was the world’s first concentrated solar power plant.
CSP entails focusing the sun’s rays with a reflective surface and putting that energy to work. These days, the heat usually goes to generating electricity. But the principle is quite old, according to an Aug. 18 article in The Christian Science Monitor.