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Exhibit 10-5

Solar Power Towers

Exhibit 10-5 is a schematic of electricity generation using molten-salt storage.

Solar power towers use a large field of sun-tracking mirrors called heliostats to concentrate sunlight on a receiver located on the top of a tower. The receiver heats a heat transfer fluid such as molten nitrate salt that is then used to generate steam to power a turbine-generator to produce electricity. The molten salt reaches about 1,050 degrees Fahrenheit in the receiver before being stored in a tank where it can retain its heat for several hours.


  1. Sun heats salt in the receiver.
  2. The salt is stored in hot storage tank.
  3. Hot salt is pumped through the steam generator.
  4. Steam drives turbine/generator to produce electricity.
  5. Salt returns to cold storage tank.

For more information on this exhibit, please contact the Comptroller’s Data Services Division at 512-463-4900 or at P.O. Box 13528, Austin, Texas 78711-3528.

Sources: Florida A&M University and Florida State University.

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