What is CSP Solar Energy?

“CSP” stands for “Concentrated Solar Power” 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 location.

– 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.

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Learn more about solar power at http://www.findportablesolarpower.com.
Learn more about solar towers at http://www.squidoo.com/solartowers

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