Renewable energy like solar and wind is booming across the country as the costs of production have come down. But the sun doesn’t always shine, and the wind doesn’t blow when we need it to.
This challenge has sparked a technology race to store energy — one that goes beyond your typical battery.
Heat Storage: Molten Salt And A Giant Solar Farm
Batteries are often used to store solar power, but it can be a costly endeavor.
A company called SolarReserve may have found a solution: It built a large solar plant in the Nevada desert that can store heat from the sun and generate electricity for up to 10 hours even after sundown.
You can see the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Plant from miles away. There’s a 640-foot-tall tower surrounded by 10,347 mirrors. The heliostats, as they’re technically called, are arranged in a circle that is 1.75 miles across. They direct heat from the sun to the top of the tower, which glows white-hot. […]