New Labs to Concentrate on Solar Thermal Energy 

From Joseph B. Verrengia of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory: As the market for clean solar power rapidly expands, NREL researchers are investigating advanced concepts in concentrating solar power (CSP) with $5.4 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding awarded from the U.S. Department of Energy. The new work includes establishing two new facilities and extensive improvements to an existing third facility on the NREL’s research campus. It also will include field testing of new CSP technologies at the Solar Technology Acceleration Center (SolarTAC), a new 76-acre solar test site. CSP uses mirrors to reflect sunlight onto receivers. Unlike photovoltaic cells that directly convert sunlight into electricity, this method uses the sun’s heat to drive a generator to produce electricity. Read more

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