Monday, February 13, 2012, 12:00PM - 1:00PM
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NEON)
ARC room 620
Most people are familiar with photovoltaic modules, which convert sunlight directly into electricity. But there is another form of solar electricity that has re-emerged in recent years: concentrating solar power, or CSP. CSP systems concentrate sunlight to achieve the high temperatures needed to run thermodynamic power cycles of the type used in conventional power plants. Because these systems can incorporate relatively inexpensive thermal storage, they can provide electricity during times when the solar resource is low and can help to enable the large penetration of variable renewable technologies into the electric grid. The talk will describe this technology and present some of the research underway at NREL to improve its efficiency and lower its costs.