Ken Armijo, left, a Sandia National Laboratories mechanical engineer, and Alice Parsons, a technical librarian, study a historical blueprint for a portion of Sandia’s solar tower, which stands in the background. The document, among tens of thousands of others, is now accessible online to researchers and other interested parties from around the world. (Photo by Randy Montoya)

New CSP Digital Technical Library Archive sheds light on decades of solar research

October 11, 2021 9:00 am Published by

Sandia National Laboratories began studying the power of the sun to produce utility-scale energy in the 1960s. Sandia’s National Solar Thermal Test Facility was commissioned in 1978, spurred by the oil crisis of 1973.

Many of the documents detailing the design, construction and research conducted at the world’s first multimegawatt concentrating solar tower spent decades sitting in boxes or on shelves in basements and backrooms. Until now.

Sandia’s solar researchers and librarians have spent the past few years collecting, digitizing and cataloging a host of reports, memos, blueprints, photos and more on concentrating solar power, a kind of renewable energy produced by using large mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto a receiver on a tower to generate electricity. These historical research documents are now in a publicly accessible digital archive for other concentrating solar power researchers, historians, corporations and citizens to view.

Read the full press release.

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