Concentrated Solar Power (CSP)
Concentrated solar power systems use mirrors or lenses to focus a large area of sunlight, or solar thermal energy, onto a small area. When the concentrated light is converted to heat, it drives a heat engine connected to an electrical power generator. The result is electricity.
Masdar uses different types of concentrated solar power systems. Shams 1 is a parabolic trough system, a cluster of solar thermal collectors in the form of parabolic mirrors, with a central tube to concentrate the heat from direct solar irradiation. The heat in turn produces steam to drive a conventional turbine that ultimately generates electricity.
Masdar’s Gemasolar and Valle 1 & 2 facilities use a central tower that consists of an array of reflectors (heliostats). They concentrate sunlight on a central receiver on the tower. The receiver contains a fluid, often seawater, that is heated to more than 500 degrees Celsius and then used as a heat source for power generation.