[Comment on “Large-scale concentration and conversion of solar energy” by Hildebrandt, et al.] Comment on “solar energy”



In the July issue of EOS, Hildebrandt, Haas, Jenkins, and Colaco have presented an interesting technical exercise by developing the design for a solar-powered electrical generating system using steerable Fresnel mirrors and a fixed boiler [‘Large Scale Concentration and Conversion of Solar Energy,’ p. 684]. They suggest that such an arrangement could be capable of supplying the bulk of United States energy needs in the year 2000, but their economic analysis has not considered several important aspects of the overall logistics. For want of a better source, this note will draw upon the applicable numbers in their paper and will be confined largely to re-examination of certain aspects of the overall feasibility.