May 13, 2009
I now have more information about a solar power station in Barstow California. I had written in the past about having passed a solar power station in Barstow one afternoon. You could see the mirrors all around a tower in the center. But the strange thing was that the mirrors were all aiming just above the tower where they formed a glowing halo.
Just the other day, I heard a documentary about this station. This solar power station was called Solar One. The mirrors had been made with a foam backing. Eventually, moisture formed between the foam backing and the glass. This caused the mirrors to corrode. The corroded mirrors no longer provided enough reflection to be worth operating the plant. So, it was shut down.
April 9, 2009
The original set of steam boilers lived their projected lifespan, and were replaced with a new version of panal tubes. To my knowledge they are still working. I never herd any feedback to my company about mirror problems. They were highly polished alloy of some sort as I remember. I'm sure the maintaining of the mirrors was a daily routine and regular part of the plant. I welded a major amount of the first steam boilers, but didn;t work on the second generation. Our company did not make the mirrors. As far as the halo is concerned, when the mirrors are focsed on the panals, they glow from being so hot. You can see them 20 miles away when you are coming from Vegas back to LA. I would think certain times of year or conditions would make some kind of visual show above the steam boilers. Probably the same kind of thing like seeing a vapor stream off the tip of a wing or jet taking off.
I was just thinking also, the steam boilers in the tower, the 1st verson I built were 24 panels, each having 70- 1/2" Dia tubes for the water to go thru. Each one was about 50 feet tall. The panals were places 360 around the top of the tower, so the boilers formed a full circle, which would possi bly create a halo in the air right above them where condensation could occur. The heat would rise straight up on a calm day in a path shaped like a circle.
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