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The Deep Dish Approach to Solar Power

March 30th, 2007 · No Comments · Climate Change, Energy, News, Politics, Science, Tech

SuncloudsHere comes the sun: Sicily is building the world’s first solar power plant! According to a deal signed by the Italian government this week, the plant should by operational by 2009:

The project is named Archimedes, after the famous resident of the nearby city of Syracuse. The existing gas-fired power plant on the site will be augmented by Archimedes, which should produce 5 megawatts of electricity, enough for 4,500 families.

Archimedes’ trump card is the fact that it will produce solar energy 24 hours a day, not just when the sun is shining. The plant’s battery of parabolic mirrors will focus the sun’s rays on pipes, through which runs a saline liquid that can store heat up to 550C and retain it for hours.

Let’s hope those hip Italian trendsetters are about to spark another fad.

Hat tip to Norm Sloan.
Photo Credit: US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


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