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Making high-temperature industrial heat from sunlight

1 comment

  1. skybrian
    [...] [...] [...]

    What Gross and his team of scientists and engineers at Heliogen have developed, in a nutshell, is a way to use even more computing power to keep the mirrors even more precisely aligned, thus generating even more heat.


    Conventional CSP towers can only get to about 560 degrees Celsius — enough to boil fluid and run a turbine, but not much else. Heliogen’s towers have reached just over 1,000° C and the company believes with further improvements it can hit 1,500° C. That would be a whole new ball game.


    There are lots of industrial processes that can use 1,000° C heat, like steam reforming of methane. And as that heat creeps higher, it becomes useful for more and more processes, from cement to steel.


    Obviously, Heliogen’s technology can’t work with every industrial facility. For one thing, Gross estimates that only about half of them worldwide have the land necessary to build a solar-heat facility on site. Facilities would have to integrate what is effectively an airborne oven into their process flow. And every facility would still need backup sources of heat, since the sun is only out for about eight hours a day.

    2 votes