CSPs' ability to store heat energy for more extended periods makes it ideal for various utility-scale applications.

FREMONT, CA: Solar tech innovations are continually shaping the solar industry, and some of the firms are eyeing the essence of concentrated solar power (CSP) to address energy needs. Concentrated solar technology uses mirrors to contemplate and reflect sunlight onto a focal point. The focal point is preinstalled with an absorber or a receiver that gathers solar energy and transforms it into heat. The heat can then be used to power a turbine or an engine. 

While CSP may find its applications across a wide range of verticals, its most common usage is in utility-scale applications. CSP aids supply power to an electricity grid. On the contrary, there is relatively lower rate of residential installation of CSPs. Instead, CSP installations are concentrated over a large area where it acts as a utility-scale energy generating facility. Although CSP installations come in various sizes and shapes, there are four common installation categories, namely, Parabolic dishes, Solar power towers, Parabolic troughs, and Linear Fresnel systems.

The efficiency of a CSP system may vary depending on factors such as the type of CSP system, the engine, and the receiver. However, most CSP technologies will have efficiency somewhere around 7 and 25 percent. CSPs are often compared with solar photovoltaics as their efficiencies are in a similar range. One key advantage that CSP offers over PV is storage capabilities. With CSP, the heat transfer fluid needed to transfer the heat from the absorbers to the engine has high heating capacities, enabling this fluid to possess heat for a long period. Such a capability is essential as storing thermal energy with the help of thermal energy storage tanks can later be used to power electrically-powered machines.

The popularity of CSP can be attributed to technological advancements, along with an increase in demand for clean energy.

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