Israel’s National Solar Energy Center will start testing a 400 square meter (4,300 sq ft) solar collecting dish. The huge dish is capable of achieving 1000 suns — it can concentrate the intensity of the sun’s energy by a factor of a thousand. The dish is lined with 216 mirrors, but not more than a quarter will be uncovered to sunlight for the initial experiments. The mirrors concentrate the light onto a small square of concentrator photovoltaic cells, which convert the light into electricity. The concentrator photovoltaic panel is only 10 cm by 10 cm and is too small to absorb the energy from the whole dish.
According to a study the center’s director, professor David Faiman, published last year, mass producing dish systems like the Sede Boker model would cost less than $1,000 per kilowatt to produce — the cost of a typical, fossil-fuel burning plant.
:: Via The Energy Blog