8,000 suns

The PS10 solucar install was amazing!
Some fun facts:

  • 11MW of electricity at full power
  • 4 MW/m² of thermal energy on the collector, at the top of a 100m tower.
  • Nuclear reactors only produce 400kW/m² of thermal energy, 10-times less.
  • The collector is made of 5 panels, 5m x 12m. Their construction is a closely guarded secret and we were very privileged to be taken all the way to the top of the tower directly under them!
  • The 624 heliostats have mirrors that are 120m² and are curved to focus a beam up to the collector. The closer heliostats have a greater curve than those further away.
  • The heliostats are not always all focused on the collector. Sometimes, they are pointed at a “standby” point, usually during system start up.
  • The heliostats are moved into the collector in stages so as not to destroy the tower in the process.
  • At full power, the thermal energy at the collector is equivalent to 8,000 suns.

We were near the outer edge of the heliostat field, and had our photo taken with the tower behind us at full power, and the bright spot was painfull to look at, it was almost as if we were looking into another sun.

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