mirrors used in trough systems. A primary drawback of tower technology is the large investment required, with only large-scale plants making economic sense.

Dish concentrators (see Figure 5.12) are an emerging technology that functions on a principle similar to that of a solar tower but is scalable to smaller units. A reflective parabolic dish tracks the Sun and focuses onto a small power-conversion unit. A heat-transfer fluid is heated several hundred degrees Celsius and is subsequently


FIGURE 5.12 A dish solar thermal power generation module test unit in Phoenix, Arizona. The dish is approximately 75 feet in diameter. SOURCE: Courtesy of Southwest Solar Technologies.

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