INTRODUCTION: The world's first large-scale solar tower plant was inaugurated in Adrano, Sicily on Tuesday (26 May).
GV PAN Solar power plant.
SV ZOOM INTO CU Solar panels and tower.
LV Vertical mirrors turning.
SV PAN Tilted mirrors facing up to tower.
GV EXT Turbine house.
SV PAN & CU INT Machinery. (2 SHOTS)
SV PAN UP FROM Machinery TO control room.
SV INT Control room.
TILT FROM Tilted mirrors TO tower.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The world's first large-scale solar tower plant was inaugurated in Adrano, Sicily on Tuesday (26 May). The one-megawatt plant, known as Eurelios, has been supported by the Commission of the European Community which has borne half the cost. The remainder of the finance was supplied by Italy, France and the Federal Republic of Germany.
SYNOPSIS: As oil prices continue to rise, solar plants like Eurelios could play an increasingly important part in supplying the world's energy. This plant in Sicily uses curved mirrors to increase the intensity of the sun's rays, reflecting them towards a tower containing hot water pipes. There are over 180 large mirrors, or heliostats, which produce enough solar energy to heat the water in the tower to a temperature of 249 degrees Centigrade.
As the sun moves across the sky the mirrors are constantly re-aligned so the beams of light continue to focus on the tower, which converts the sunlight into steam, using heat-absorbing water pipes. The steam is then transferred into large pressure tanks.
The steam is used to drive turbine generators for electrical power. Each step in the process is monitored by computer so only a small operational staff is required. The project was constructed by a European consortium consisting of French, Italian and German companies, and was promoted by the Commission of the European Community as part of its solar energy programmes. For countries like France and Germany which have no oil of their own the plant is a major breakthrough.
France, Italy and Germany rely heavily on the Middle East for oil supplies. The Iran-Iraq war has already reduced the amount of oil produced in the Mideast area, and the threat of a conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbours could aggravate the situation.