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Community-Scale Solar Power, day and night
Concentrating Solar Thermal Power

Solar Energy which strikes the earth is referred to as Solar Flux Energy.

Concentrating this solar thermal energy and using it to produce electric power is called
Concentrating Solar Thermal Power (CST) Power.

For large scale collection, there are trough collectors and tower collectors.

Trough Collectors look like long troughs or half barrels with a receiver pipe running
down the center which collects the heat and delivers it to a central location for use.

Tower Collectors are a central tower receiver with a large field of mirrors which all
reflect sunlight onto the receiver, eliminating the need to transport the heat into a
central location for use.

The greater concentrating capability of a tower implementation produces high grade
thermal energy in excess of 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, while the Trough systems
operate at a much lower 500 – 700 degrees F.

For in-depth understanding of CST technology, the following references are provided:

NREL -
Assessment of Parabolic Trough and Power Tower Solar Technology Cost and
Performance Forecasts

Stine & Geyer - Power from the Sun
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