First on-sun tests of the new solar receiver

Last week we did the first tests with sunlight focused on Solar Field 2 receiver. With the engineers who developed the receiver monitoring the temperature and performance of the receiver tubes, we shone light from 20 of the 451 heliostats onto the target.

The field performed perfectly. Although the test was done late in the day – around 5 pm when the sun was low in the sky – the focusing was excellent with very little light spilling onto the edges of the aperture.

The thermal power in the receiver reached about 30 kW, which is a nice easy first test. When we’re sure things are working as planned we will gradually ramp things up. Ultimately, when the system is running under full power at noon on a summer’s day, it will be able to collect over 1 MW of solar thermal energy.

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