EME 811
Solar Thermal Energy for Utilities and Industry

10.0 Introduction

Conversion of solar to mechanical and electrical energy has been the objective of experiments for over a century.

Duffie and Beckman

Solar radiation is a great source of heat for generating steam. Steam is a highly useful working fluid that has been used to drive mechanical systems for centuries. Heat is heat, no matter what its origin. As such, as solar thermal technologies continue to be developed and decrease in cost, more and more thermal systems that are currently driven by steam that is generated from the burning of fossil fuels can have their fuel source replaced by the sun.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the steps of the processes required to convert solar energy to mechanical and electrical energy.
  • Compare the thermal behavior of solar thermal power systems.
  • Summarize the technical details of the solar thermal power systems existing and emerging over the globe.

What is due for Lesson 10?

This lesson will take us one week to complete. Specific directions for different assignments are given in the table below and within this lesson pages.

Tasks Assignment Details Access/Directions


  • D&B Chapter 17 (13 pages)
  • Lovegrove, K., Stein W., Concentrating Solar Power Technologies, Woodhead Publishing, 2012 - Chapters 7-9. 


  • PUBLIC USA Major Projects List 2014-8-19.pdf
  • Solar Thermal Cost and Performance Forecasts.pdf

Registered students can use the following link to access the D&B textbook through the University Library.

Other reading materials are available via Lesson 10 Module in Canvas

Assignment  Essay on the solar thermal power techologies Specific directions for the assignment are provided on the respective page of this lesson.
Quiz 10 multiple choice questions related to lesson readings Registered students can access the quiz in the Lesson 10 Module in Canvas.
Course project Peer critique on the course project pre-proposals is due this week Please see your peer-review assignments in Canvas. The reviews should be submitted as comments or attachments to comment to each author's submission


If you have any questions, please post them to our Questions and Answers discussion forum in Canvas. I will check that discussion forum daily to respond. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help out a classmate.