Solar test facility, USA

Solar test facility, USA

C022/5130 Rights Managed

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Credit: Sandia National Laboratory/US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Solar test facility. Array of Stirling engine heliostats (mirrors with sun-tracking motion) at Sandia National Laboratories' Solar Thermal Test Facility, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. These heliostats reflect sunlight and concentrate it on to a small area. The concentrated solar energy is then used to produce electrical power. Here each mirror is equipped with a Sterling engine driven by a hydrogen gas filled piston. The sun's rays are focused onto the piston, heating the gas and driving the engine to generate electricity. This array has been used to set a new solar-to-grid system conversion efficiency record, taking them well beyond the capacities of other solar dish collectors.

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