Energy in the desert – Nevada Solar One

If you thought that having solar panels on your roof was impressive then you’re sure to be blown away by the impressively large solar power plant located just outside the city of Las Vegas in the Mojave Desert, Nevada.

Known as Nevada Solar One, this awesome facility boasts over 760 parabolic trough concentrators that harness the suns incredible energy by reflecting the light off of the many thousands of mirrors onto receiver tubes, which in turn heats the fluid within. This heated fluid is then used to boil water, which then creates steam. The steam released from the heated water powers a turbine, which is what produces the actual electricity. The plant has a nominal capacity of 64MW and a maximum of 75MW. To help make it even more efficient, the thousands of mirrors adjust position themselves, as they follow the position of the sun. This ensures that the mirrors are reflecting as much sunlight as possible at any given moment with minimal waste.

This may seem like an amazing feat in itself (and it is) but believe it or not the Nevada Solar One plant is in fact only part of a larger project, which eventually aims to give the area of El Dorado an additional 1 gigabyte of electricity (approximately).

The plant covers around 400 acres of land, which may make it sound like you won’t be able to miss it but because of the immense size of the Mojave Desert, it’s barely noticeable against the dusty backdrop. If you’re planning on visiting the city of Las Vegas at some point in the future, why not take a detour and stop by for a closer look at one of the word’s most impressive solar plants. We hope to see much more of this technology put to use in the future.

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