The single focus point of extreme temperatures is used in a heat engine to expand a working fluid or gas to move an electric generator and make clean energy. The advantage of that solar thermal holds is that it is fairly easy to store the heat produced during daylight hours as “heat energy”. After hours this heat energy is released back t the heat engine and after hours solar energy electricity is produced.
As I said there are various of forms of concentrated solar thermal technology. This one is interesting in that is easily scalable , meaning that you can have electricity with one then add 300 more . Also the ease of storing unused heat for later conversion to clean energy makes it worth investigating. Here is a gallery of solar thermal CSP dish pictures.
Solar thermal dishes have recently lost out to parabolic solar or solar tower thermal technology due to the fact that even though they are the most scalable type for solar thermal energy the cost per Kwh is very high in comparison. Solar PV has been chosen over this technology for several recent projects due strictly to the economics, even though efficiencies of solar PV are much lower than solar thermal power.
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.