A 49 MW coal plant now has 6.8 acres of concentrated solar mirrors to help heat the plant and reduce coal usage by 900 tons.
The first ever hybrid solar-coal power plant is now operating at Unit 2 of the Cameo Generating Station near Palisade in Colorado. The demonstration project is expected to cut the use of coal at the power plant by around two or three percent, and could be scaled up to cut it by 10 percent.
The solar energy heats the circulating oil to about 300°C (575°F). The heated oil is then fed to a heat exchanger where the heat is transferred to water to heat it to around 200°C (407°F) before it enters the boiler. Having hotter water entering the boiler means less coal is needed to heat it and produce the steam that turns the turbine to generate electricity
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