Field of mirrors in Gobi Desert helps generate concentrated solar power

Field of mirrors in Gobi Desert helps generate concentrated solar power

A pilot project in the Gobi Desert that generates energy out concentrated solar power by using mirrors or lenses to concentrate a large area of sunlight onto a small area, is the first of its kind of China and breaks a number of records in Asia, in terms of installed capacity, tower height, light concentration, heat storage and construction duration. It is able to continuously generate electricity for 24 hours and can help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 350,000 tons each year. The energy will supply 1 million households.

This Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) system, uses a vast array of mirrors spread across 6,300 acres.

Starting with 2 solar towers (135 MW), the whole plant will consist 6 towers and is set to go online in 2017.

This solar thermal system capture sunlight to heat liquids that can easily be stored to later run electricity generating engines. This is more practical than using mere photovoltaic solar panel technology that directly converts sunlight to electricity, which can not be stored for later use as easily as a thermal system’s heated liquids.

The designed heat storage is 15 hours, thus, it can guarantee stable, continual power generation for the region.

The ambitiously gargantuan Delingha facility is part of President Xi Jinping’s lofty goal to slash 20 percent of the country’s fossil fuel usage by 2030. China is increasing it’s solar power fast. The country became the world’s top renewable energy investor, devoting $83.3 billion to green power in 2014 alone.