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Ausra Solar Heat And Power Information

Mar 29, 2008
With the price of a barrel of oil hitting all time highs, and no relief at the gas pump in sight, its no surprise that alternative energy is quickly becoming a popular topic. One of the more popular sources of alternative energy is the sun. By harnessing the power of the sun's rays, we may be able to do without oil. While solar power solutions have been around for decades, its only in the last few years that homeowners have started to take a serious look at using solar power to heat their homes, and as a source of clean electricity.

It's difficult to stand out in the competitive solar energy market, but Ausra, an Australian-American company, seems to be successful at setting itself apart from the competition.

The California-based Ausra got its name from an ancient Indo-European goddess of the dawn. It is a solar thermal technology company that produces electricity from sunlight with fewer issues compared to the traditional methods, and could even lower the expenses of generating utility-scale power.

In order to generate electricity, solar thermal power plants harness heat from the sun. Ausra utilizes quite inexpensive 40-foot-long flat plate mirrors known as Fresnel reflectors to focus the sun's rays directly on the water pipes and thus boiling the water to run the steam turbines, which will then generate electricity.

Generally, most solar power plants use structures with curved mirrors to focus sunlight onto tubes of oil. The heat from the oil is used to make steam, and then drive the turbine, which generates electricity.

Ausra Solar Heat and Power uses a system that can reduce the cost of electricity that is powered by solar energy, and that can compete with traditionally generated electricity. Its Fresnel lens reflectors are different from the curved mirrors of the conventional trough design, as the Fresnel lens appears to be flat.

Rather than first heating the oil to generate heat, Ausra heats water directly in order to generate steam. However, the system can be less effective at converting solar energy into electricity compared to the trough systems.

Ausra was founded by David Mills in 2002 as Solar Heat and Power in Australia. Mills started the technology at Sydney University in the early 1990's with Graham Morrison, who helped him develop it from 1995 until the year 2001.

In 2004, Ausra Solar Heat and Power then built a one-megawatt pilot project for the Macquarie Generation in New South Wales. The company then moved to the United States in February and is expecting to finish a second 38-megawatt capacity power plant in 2009. Another of the company's projects involved a 180-megawatt power plant in the United States and a 6.5-megawatt power plant in Portugal, which has begun its construction.

Given the importance of securing our future, solar power as a heat and energy source is fast becoming a popular option for many homeowners. While the price is still high, it will pay for itself before long. No more waging wars for oil in other countries. No more paying high rates to heat your home. Instead, solar power may be the option that we've been waiting for.
About the Author
With the rising cost of oil, many homeowners are looking to alternative energy for solutions. Solar power for the home is one option, and one of the more popular companies is ausra solar heat and power . Learn more today at www.alternativeenergyandyou.com
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