HANK MORGAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HANK MORGAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A technician uses a computer to monitor the temperature and status of the approximately 300 90-metre rows of collectors at a Luz International solar energy farm in the Mojave Desert, California. The collectors, computer-controlled parabolic mirrors, track the sun across the sky, focusing it's light onto tubes containing a synthetic oil. The oil, which is thus super- heated to 391 degrees Centigrade, is used to boil water for a steam turbine generator. In total eight Luz installations, covering 1000 acres of desert, generate 275 megawatts of electricity, 90% of the world's total grid- connected solar energy production.
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