Concentrating solar power
Main > Energy > Solar Power > Solar Turbine
Concentrated solar power (CSP) are systems that use lenses or mirrors to concentrate a large area of sunlight, or wikipedia:solar thermal energy, onto a small area. Electrical power is produced when the concentrated light is converted to heat which drives a heat engine (usually a steam turbine) connected to an electrical power generator.
CSP should not be confused with photovoltaics, where solar power is directly converted to electricity without the use of steam turbines. The concentration of sunlight onto photovoltaic surfaces, similar to CSP, is known as concentrated photovoltaics (CPV).
Prior to 2014 commercial CSP was very cost effective over PV for generating electricity, but this advantage was lost with the cost of PV panels decreasing with time , but CSP with a reservoir of molten salt still has the advantage of being dispatchable.
Heliostat, Open Heliostat Array Project, Solar Thermochemistry