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Solar power to light the Las Vegas Night.
Written by Daniel   
Saturday, 17 March 2007 07:23
Full steam ahead for Nevada solar project
By Michael Kanellos
Staff Writer, CNET
Published: March 12, 2007, 4:00 AM PDT  

BOULDER CITY, Nev.--The Nevada Solar One power plant is essentially a tea kettle, just one that happens to take up 300 acres and can provide enough power for 15,000 homes


The plant, which will start to generate electricity for nearby Las Vegas in April, consists of approximately 184,000 mirrors arranged in long, parabolic arrays that focus the sun's energy on a receiver--a metal tube filled with oil that's encased in specialized glass--from German conglomerate Schott.

Sunlight heats the oil to 400 degrees Celsius (about 750 degrees Fahrenheit). The oil gets transferred to a heat exchanger where it makes steam, which then cranks a turbine to produce electricity. If the heat can't be used right away, it gets transferred to vats of molten salt which retain the heat for later use.

"The steam side, it is not rocket science. It has existed for more than 100 years. The solar side, we know it is going to work," said Gilbert Cohen, senior vice president of Acciona Solar Power, which owns the plant and will sell it to local utilities. "The potential is huge here."... More

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