Ausra: cheap, utility-scale solar power

Ausra installation

Ausra mirrorsUsing recyclable mirrors and pipes, Ausra‘s new 1-mile square US plant will generate 175 MW. Using proprietary Fresnel technology, Ausra’s aimed mirrors heat a pipe suspended 30 feet above the mirror arrays – cold water comes in one end, 175 MW of steam comes out the other, no toxics or other complications are involved.

There is a steam concentrator that smooths out steam flow when clouds pass over, but otherwise Ausra’s equipment drives conventional steam turbines that hook easily into the grid. A 92×92 mile grid could power the entire U.S…


About Chris Gulker

Chris Gulker, a self-described Infuential Blogger, lived in Menlo Park, California with spouse Linda. He passed away in late October 2010.
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2 Responses to Ausra: cheap, utility-scale solar power

  1. Anonymous says:

    This was done in the 70’s somewhere in Arizona. Seems the temperature difference between day & night caused the pipes to wear out too fast for it 2 B economical. Maybe runaway energy inflation has changed that.

  2. Rob J says:

    no toxics or other complications are involved

    I wouldn’t say zero complications, especially if you’re talking something like 8500 square miles of shade!

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