When pondering giant, futuristic energy generating installations, one rarely envisions a beautiful, shimmering sea of twirling squares. Southeast of Vegas exists just such a thing. 173,500 heliostats (2 massive mirrors that rotate to focus light on a particular point) focus in synchrony just on the edge of the Mojave.
The Ivanpah Solar Power facility is a Department of Energy backed, $2.2 billion facility consisting of the aforementioned heliostats and 4 power towers. At the facility, the mirrors focus light on the Power Towers. The concentrated light has the same effect as sun through a magnifying glass on ants. The heat generated within the Power Tower boils the water, making steam, which then, in the most unsurprising turn in history, rotates a turbine to generate electricity.
Ivanpah is the largest solar installation in the world and can services around 140,000 homes each year. California has legislated that 33 percent of the state’s…
View original post 65 more words