Utility-scale solar installations provide large amounts of fixed-price energy that is connected to the electrical grid and sold to utility consumers. Utility-scale solar installations can use any solar technologies, however large utility-scale projects can also take advantage of some technologies that would be impractical for a homeowner or a small business. Concentrator Photovoltaic and Concentrating Solar Power technologies both concentrate the sun's power to focus more sunlight on solar collectors and yield greater energy production.
Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) Systems:
|CPV systems make use of plastic lenses and metal housings to capture the solar energy shining on a fairly large area and focus that energy onto a smaller area - the solar cell.|
Concentrating Solar Power(CSP) Systems:
CSP systems use the sun as a heat source to boil water. The steam from the boiling water spins a large turbine, which drives a generator to produce electricity.
|Linear concentrator systems collect the sun's energy using long, rectangular, curved (U-shaped) mirrors, tilted toward the sun to focus sunlight on tubes (or receiveres) filled with heat-transfer fulit that run the length of the mirrors. The two major types of linear concentrator systems are parabolic trough systems and lineaer Fresnel reflector systems.||A dish/engine system uses a mirrored dish similar to a very large satellite dish, whose surface directs and concentrates sunlight onto a thermal receiver, which absorbs and collects the heat and transfers it to the engine generator.||A power tower system uses a large field of flat, sun-tracking mirrors (heliostats) to focus and concentrate sunlight onto a receiver on the top of a tower. A heat-transfer fluid heated in the receiver is used to generate steam, which, in turn, is used in a conventioanl turbine generator to produce electricity.|