Solar Power Tower is a technology for utilizing the solar thermal energy of the sun. The solar energy is one the best alternate sources of energy. In fact it is the renewable source of energy. The only drawback of this solar thermal energy is that it is available only during the day when the sunlight is present and cannot be of any help at night. But this problem has been solved by use of heat capacity which helps to generate energy even when the sun is not up. It is designed to capture the solar thermal power using mirrors. Solar power tower also goes by the name of central tower power plants or heliostat power towers. The name heliostat power tower suits its functioning and is therefore the most appropriate name for it. Heliostat is a device which by the help of mirrors captures the sun’s thermal energy. It is accentuated at a particular angle with the help of distant target towards the sun and this way it receives the sunlight throughout the day and you get your required solar thermal energy. If you are an eco friendly person then you will definitely love this technology. It is purely environment friendly.
Now the solar power tower is sort of a furnace which utilizes sun’s energy, more precisely a solar furnace. It uses a tower on which the heliostat is placed and that is how it receives the solar power and captures it. It makes use of a series of flat mirrors situated at some distance which are focused on the target which is the placed upon the collector tower. It therefore generates for itself concentrated solar energy. This concentrated solar energy is one of the best alternate energies available in the renewable energy section. It is purely harmless and extremely eco friendly and does not cause any kind of pollution at all.
Initially this energy was used to heat water by directing it towards a boiler and then used in turbines. On a small scale it was also used for cooking. Actually it was the heliostats that were used for cooking. This technology is totally based on sunlight and the heliostat device. The different solar power towers have different design criteria based on the type of application they have there. Some require air cooling rather than water cooling, for example in desert areas. In the mirrors of the heliostat it is not necessary that you have to use the expensive curved glass you can even go for the less expensive flat glass. In general the normal areas covered by solar power towers undertake 150 to 320 acres of land.
Some of the major solar power towers of the world are, Sierra Sun Tower installed in United States by the eSolar and having the capacity of 5MW; PS20 Solar Power Tower installed in Spain by Abengoa and having a capacity of 20MW; PS10 Solar Power Tower a predecessor of PS20 Solar Power Tower again installed in Spain by Abengoa with a capacity of 11MW; and lastly an under construction solar tower, the Solar Trees Power Tower installed by Sener in Spain having a capacity of 17 MW.