A new form of solar power generation is trying to make its mark in Nevada - a pillar of molten salt.
Just a major performance struggle to overcome.
SolarReserve finished its construction early this year and was targeting first power generation at press time in early October. Smith says that one of the biggest complexities to master is the repositioning of the mirrors—more than 1 million square meters of reflective glass—every 60 seconds to keep their beams focused on the receiver. A 20-MW demonstration-scale plant completed in 2011 by Spanish solar thermal developer Sener Grupo de Ingeniería is running well, according to Mehos, but it must coordinate about one-sixth the number of mirrors as the new Nevada plant.
That's a lot of moving mirrors over a lot of hours, every day.