The PS10 Tower: The Future of Energy Generation?

August 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Wind And Solar Energy

Just outside of the city of Seville in Spain, one can see a monolith that largely resembles something from the Lord of the Rings. A huge, towering eye stands a 115 meter high tower, looking out over a sea of large, shiny reflective objects. To the innocent bystander it is an odd, or even alarming sight, but what is happening in this small corner of Spain could indeed be the future of energy.

The monolith is in fact a PS10 tower, a technical name for what is essentially a huge solar panel. Like many solar panels, it gathers the sun’s heat and boils water to create steam; this, in turn, creates electricity, which can then be used to power anything from a small town to the oven in your kitchen.

What makes the PS10 Tower different, however, is that it does not just receive sunlight directly from the sun. While it would be effective in doing so, the PS10 Tower looks out over 624 movable mirrors, known as heliostats, all of which are positioned to shine the sun’s rays directly onto the solar panels atop the tower.

If it sounds complicated, that’s because it is – but essentially, what the PS10 Tower generates in power which then becomes electricity is 624 times more powerful than your average solar panel. Thanks to the heliostats bouncing the sun’s rays directly on to its receiving panels, the PS10 is able to create steam to drive a generator at a rate previously unheard of for solar technology.

What’s more, the experiment has proved so successful that a second tower and second bed of heliostats – the PS20 Tower – has now been built. The Spanish have capitalized on their natural resource – blinding sunlight – and used it to create electricity. Even more excitingly, it works. So is are the PS10 and PS20 towers the future of solar energy? They just might be.

Solar Power – Cutting Your Energy Bills and Saving The Environment

August 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Wind And Solar Energy

The concept of solar generated energy has the kind of truths behind it that would make the vast majority of advertising executives salivate.

Firstly, the environmental considerations of using solar energy are huge. With fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, set to run out at some point; there has been a renewed focus in finding sustainable and renewable energy. Solar power has come to the forefront of such discussions as a viable alternative to the old ‘digging stuff out of the ground and burning it’ way of generating energy.

The effect this ability for renewable energy which takes nothing from the earth itself is huge. While solar power will never be able to meet all of the Earth’s energy demands, it should certainly be able to sate a large portion of the populace. By switching to such renewable energy that capitalizes on a natural resource, the environmental impact would be significant.

Secondly – and this is where the aforementioned advertising executive would really become excited – solar power could save the average member of the population money. By having solar panels installed, people could save as much as 30% on their usual electricity and heating bills.

With every year that passes, the general populace becomes more concerned about their own impact on the environment and their own dependence on fossil fuels. As time passes, these people with particular concerns are looking at utilizing other forms of energy. Once upon a time, seeing solar panels on the roof of a normal home would have been alarmingly unusual, but it is now fast approaching the norm. The average household is now capable of saving the environment and saving money – what are you waiting for?