Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fiber optic cable for the extreamly large solar power tower

We recently sold some fiber optic cable for something that I just heard about for the first time in my life, a solar power tower. Solar power seems to be a hot topic so I figured I'd look into how these towers work.

This tower project was in Tonopah Nevada and is know as the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, it's designed to power up to 75,000 homes during peak electricity periods supplying 500,000 megawatt hours annually of clean, renewable electricity. A loan for $737 million from the Department of Energy was approved and private capital was raised for the company handling the project, Solar Reserve. Let's see what they have to say about the construction of their project.

So it was an amazing amount of work to build and cost a ton of money but how does it work? Let's see what the U.S. Department of Energy has to say.

This is cool stuff but where does the fiber come in? There are multiple buildings and this place is huge, it covers 1,600 acres so fiber optic cable could be anywhere. The fiber sold for this project was a singlemode 12 strand armored cable that ran from the warehouse to the communications building. Here's a better look at this fiber from our YouTube channel.

Shipping this fiber was interesting when it came to the address, I was told to just put 10 miles north of hwy 95 they can't miss it! Here's the view from an airplane above, you can't miss it from anywhere.


It's cool seeing solar continue to grow, I am a little bummed out that the fiber purchased from me was not involved in the cool part of this project. I have been looking into fiber optic cable for solar panels and wind turbine applications, looks like fiber is more involved in those types of solar applications.

Update 5/28/2013

I just got back from an excellent adventure in Las Vegas with the wife and something caught my eye in the middle of the desert, just south of Whiskey Pete's in Primm Nevada.

A large solar power project! This project is called the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System and is currently the largest solar plant under construction in the world!

Here's some construction footage from Bright Source.

What are we doing in the middle of the desert?

Apparently building solar power plants everywhere.

"By Mercy Salinas"