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Mirrors at the Solar energy complex, Kramer Jnct

Mirrors at the Solar energy complex, Kramer Jnct

T152/0282

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Credit

HANK MORGAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HANK MORGAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Computer-controlled parabolic mirrors at the Luz International solar energy complex near Kramer Junction in the Mojave Desert, California. The 650,000 mirrors focus sunlight onto steel pipes filled with a synthetic oil. The pipes (visible here), mounted within vacuum-insulated glass tubes, are coated with materials which enhance solar radiation absorbtion and reduce radiative losses. The oil, which is thus super-heated to 391 degrees Centigrade, is used to boil water for steam turbine generators in one of five power plants. The total power output from the three Luz installations currently operating is 275megawatts, 90% of the world's solar energy harvest.

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