Solar tower – bringing you power

An article published in Scientriffic, CSIRO’s science magazine for ages 7+. 


CSIRO is building the largest solar power tower in the world in Newcastle, NSW. The solar power tower will turn heat from the Sun into electricity using the same turbine system that powers a jet engine.

In a field around the solar power tower, 450 mirrors will direct heat from the Sun into a 30-metre-high tower, where the heat will be turned into electricity.

The field of mirrors will cover 4000 square metres – an area about the size of 10 basketball courts – and the tower will operate at temperatures of over 900 degrees Celsius, which is hotter than the surface temperature of the planet Mercury!

The new solar power tower is different from most solar power stations because it doesn’t need any water to make electricity. Dr Alex Wonhas from CSIRO says the new solar power tower will help make solar power “a cheaper, more efficient energy source that is suitable for many desert locations in Australia and the world” where water is hard to find.

The new solar power tower and the surrounding field is due to be finished in mid 2011.

Jo Savill

Read more about Scientriffic: a science magazine for ages 7+.


Jo Savill is a writer, science communicator and entrepreneur. Stay up to date with Jo’s writing by signing up to her newsletter


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