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Materials & Assembly
3M & Gossamer Debut World's Largest LAT Solar Collector
7/17/2012

A new large aperture parabolic trough solar collector is designed to significantly reduce equipment and installation costs for concentrated solar power (CSP systems used in utility-scale power generation).   (Source: 3M)
A new large aperture parabolic trough solar collector is designed to significantly reduce equipment and installation costs for concentrated solar power (CSP systems used in utility-scale power generation).
(Source: 3M)

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Charles Murray
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Re: Positive direction
Charles Murray   7/17/2012 6:39:55 PM
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I agree that it's a good thing, Louis. It's a very small amount of energy compared to the production offered by a nuc plant, but it's another step in a long process.

warren@fourward.com
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3M & Gossamer Debut World's Largest Solar Collector
warren@fourward.com   7/17/2012 3:30:48 PM
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I just wish these things were available on a small scale for homes.  But steam generation is not to be played with, unfortunately.

I am not thrilled that a bankrupt state gets involved in these things, but that is California's problem as long as they don't come crawling to the rest of the country to bail them out.

But politics aside, we could use more innovative electrical generation.  Since the King will not let us use coal, and congress has made sure we keep the Middle East rich, the un-taxed sun seems a good place to go.

Too bad the ocean is so hard on equipment, as there is a lot of energy stored there from the sun and moon!

TJ McDermott
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Re: Positive direction
TJ McDermott   7/17/2012 1:27:49 PM
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California is the leader in such legislation; other states follow their lead.

There is no single solution to this country's energy needs.  The Southwest should be focusing on solar; the PNW in improving hydro, and the coastal regions wind.

The whole country will need to work on the smart grid to move the power inward from the edges.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Positive direction
Ann R. Thryft   7/17/2012 1:13:15 PM
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TJ, I, too am surprised that California hasn't mandated that commercial roofs will use solar energy. But I'm even more surprised that Arizona, Utah and New Mexico haven't done so. I believe their desert areas get more usable sunlight hours per year than we do here in the golden state.

TJ McDermott
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Re: Positive direction
TJ McDermott   7/17/2012 10:36:51 AM
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In lower latitudes (SW USA), this could be very viable.  In the PNW, not so much.

Frankly, I'm surprised Calfornia hasn't mandated all commercial roofs be put to use for solar energy collection.

naperlou
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Positive direction
naperlou   7/17/2012 10:12:26 AM
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Ann, a 25% reduction of cost in a primary part is a great thing.  It is not clear from the article how big the 275kW unit is.  A medium size coal plant typically puts out 400 - 500 mega watts of power.  A typical nuclear factilty about 900 - 1,000 MW.  So, that would be about 1,400 of these units to replace a medium size coal plant.  Of course, the coal plant puts out that energy all the time, on demand.  So, while this technology is interesting and useful as an augmentation, in areas with lots of sun, I wonder if it is economically viable.

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