More press coverage for our solar power tower

Today the news of Solar Field 2 becoming operational has been picked up by a whopping 152 different Australian media outlets.

Here is an extract from the Sydney Morning Herald article:

Hold a magnifying glass over a leaf and the sun’s rays will concentrate on a small spot. Wait a few minutes and the heat will become so intense, the leaf will catch fire.

CSIRO scientists and engineers are using this principle, well known to young children, to run a solar-energy power station in the Newcastle suburb of Mayfield West.

The magnifying glass has been replaced by large concave mirrors that concentrate the sun’s energy 1000 times its normal intensity onto a receiver, where it can heat air in a turbine engine to create electricity.

Some of the 451 mirrors, called heliostats, started bouncing the sun’s rays onto the receiver for the first time this week, making the plant the largest of its kind in the world.

The CSIRO’s Energy System Manager, James McGregor, says the beauty of this type of solar thermal technology, called a solar air turbine, is that it can create electricity from the limitless resources of air and the sun – crucially, it requires no water. In full production, the demonstration plant’s Brayton Cycle system will be able to produce 0.2 megawatts of electricity, enough to power about 100 to 200 houses.

It’s exciting for us to see the level of interest in this project and we hope it’s sustained as we keep making progress.

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