Australia’s national science agency the Commonwealth Scientific andIndustrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has developed a technology that requires only sunlight and air to generate electricity in areas facingacute water shortage. The solar Brayton Cycle project, replaces use ofconcentrated sun rays to heat water into high-pressure steam to drive aturbine with a solar energy to create a solar thermal field.
The technology focuses sun’s rays projected on to a field of mirrorsknows as heliostats onto a 30-meter (98 ft) high solar tower to heatcompressed air, which subsequently expands to through a 200kW turbine to generate electricity. The cost effective heliostats created forcommercial use consist of a light weight frame with a simple design.CSIRO has already begun installing the 450 heliostats at the NationalSolar Energy Centre in Newcastle, New South Wales. Once installed itwould become Australia’s largest solar-thermal tower system able togenerate temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees Celsius.