Posts Tagged ‘Solar’


>

Google Invests in World’s Largest Solar Power Tower Plant

Google has just sealed a deal to invest $168 million in a Mojave Desert solar energy plant.
The investment is going to BrightSource Energy, a company that developes and operates large-scale solar power plants, specifically to fund its Ivanpah project.
Ivanpah is a solar electric generating system that uses solar thermal technology and “an environmentally responsible design,” according to the project’s website, to deliver reliable, clean and low-cost power to Californians.
The plant will generate energy with a technology called power towers. Mirrors, called heliostats, are arranged in an array and aim the sun’s rays at a receiver atop a tower. The receiver generates steam; the steam causes a turbine to rotate; the rotation causes a generator to generate electricity. Because such large quantities of solar energy are being directed to such a small area, the power towers are very efficient.
The power tower at Ivanpah will be around 450 feet tall. The plant will use 173,000 heliostats, and each heliostat will have two mirrors, making Ivanpah the largest project of its kind.
Construction at Ivanpah should be completed in 2013. Here’s a video from the plant’s groundbreaking ceremony:
Google’s been on something of a clean energy investment kick over the past year or so. The company was granted the ability to buy and sell energy as a public utility last February, ostensibly to find better ways to power its own massive data centers.
A short time later, Google began making significant investments in green energy technologies. The company sealed a $38 million wind farm investment in May, bought 20 years’ worth of wind farm energy in July, and provided a substantial investment for a huge offshore wind farm in October.
Rick Needham is Google’s Director of Green Business Operations. On the company blog, writes, “We hope that investing in Ivanpah spurs continued development and deployment of this promising technology while encouraging other companies to make similar investments in renewable energy.”

var addthis_config = { ui_cobrand: “The MasterTech Blog”}

_______________________________________

Check it out on The MasterTech Blog

>


 Multiwavelength picture of the sun during a coronal mass ejection.

Solar Extreme

Image courtesy NASA
A bright swirl (left of center) on the sun marks the spot where a tumult of plasma sent out the August 1 coronal mass ejection that sparked last week’s auroras, as seen in a mosaic picture taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Different colors show regions of temperature variation on the sun.
Solar activity rises and falls on a regular cycle of about 11 years. The last period of peak activity ended in 2001, and it led into a long-lasting quiet spell. (See“Sun Oddly Quiet—Hints at Next ‘Little Ice Age’?”)
Along with a recent flurry of sunspots, the August eruptions seem to be signs of the star’s reawakening—good news for aurora fans, but potential trouble for satellites, astronauts, and some Earthly technologies.
Published August 10, 2010

Pictures: Huge Solar Storm Triggers Unusual Auroras





%d bloggers like this: