Concentrated Solar Power Simple Explanation

In this video, I give a simple explanation on how Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) works. This is the type of solar power that uses thousands of mirrors over hundreds of acres to reflect sunlight on a tower. This heats up molten salt to over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The heated molten salt then creates steam from water, driving a steam turbine to produce electricity. CSP plants are used in primarily in the western United States.

A big advantage of CSP is that power can produced at night time for at least several hours after the sun has set.

Here is my DIY Solar and Wind book that was published on Amazon:

Barnes and Noble Nook version of my DIY Solar and Wind Book:

This is a great book on Amazon that I would recommend you pick up to understand solar power (this is the 2013 edition and is great reading):

This is the Grape Solar Panel that I am particularly fond of (many people sending me messages):


  1. Is temperature C equal to watts per cm or meter? Squared area or cubic area? Per a second, minute, or hour? I must have this information.

  2. I'm suprised that the heliostats are not dish shaped to concentrate more of the heat into one point.
    I also wonder if anyone has done a half heliostat half solar panel on one mount.
    This way you could store the solar panel energy in a battery and the heliostat side could heat the tower 😉😉😉😉😉😉😉😉

  3. Giant fraud, it also uses natural gas because it can't keep up at night and if they get a cloudy day. In 2015 it emitted 68,000 metric tons of hydrocarbons into the atmosphere. Pure environmental fraud!

  4. Concented solar power కు సంబందించిన 25 పేపర్ సెండ్ చేయరా
    లేకపోతే ఏమైనా side ఉంటే చెప్పారా సార్

  5. This system of electricity generation is very damaging to the local bird population…..they simply get scorched up in the air if they pass through any beam of light and fall to the ground dead.

  6. Hi Eric . i have a question . Dose any external pumping equipment require in the system? how molten salt pumps back to the tower from storage ? how water pumps to the turbine from water tank ? please answer those questions .

  7. The question is are the salt and water pumped manually or electrically? Pumping it manually is more tiresome, but it saves energy, so it matters.

  8. Hi @Eric Layton, thank you for this animation, your explanation was really easy to follow. Do you think there are some limitations to this system? And if there are, what might they be?
    Thank you for reading.

  9. There has been cases where birds have suffer burns because they flew near the focal point. Any ideas in how this can be prevented?

  10. sir. i m from india. i have a few ques… please reply. i need them urgently..
    1. how do you maintain the high temp of the salts in the hot storage tank?
    2. is the press of the steam enough to drive the turbine?
    3. is it economical to setup the plant for agricultural purposes in rural areas?
    4.what happens if the weather is cloudy for a wekk long period?

  11. Very clear animation. Thank You.
    Why is the low temperature and low pressure steam condensed? I suppose there is energy loss in it. Because it is necessary to be able to reheat again?

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