Low-tech solar power, no cells or transformers required

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This is the kind of power I can see being used on Arrakis — Dune — the desert planet. This huge array of mirrors automatically adjusts to face the sun, and concentrates its rays onto a pipeline filled with the spice melange — I mean oil, which heats up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The oil is then used to vaporize water for steam power, or the heat is transferred (to molten salt!) stored for a rainy day.

Its simplicity is its strength, and the fact that heat energy is easily storeable makes its higher cost (twice that of wind power) worthwhile to pay. There’s more cool technical info in the article if you like that kind of thing.

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Solar Without the Panels [Technology Review]

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