Artist and musician Greer McGettrick in her apartment in the Mission. For some reason I only just now stumbled across this interview she did with Vice almost a year ago (which is a fun little read).
SkyFuel is a Arvada, Colorado based energy company that designs and builds parabolic solar collectors for solar thermal power plants. Their troughs use polymer reflectors rather than glass mirrors, significantly decreasing the weight of the system (among other advantages).
Perhaps you remember learning about parabolas in high school algebra, this is how their technology generates thermal energy. An extremely thin and reflective material is affixed to a flexible sheet of aluminum that is curved into the shape of a parabola. Then the parabola is mounted on an axis that can rotate along with the movement of the sun. Sunlight is focused by the parabola onto a pipe (that sits at the parabola’s focus) heating up molten oil or salt that is pumped through the system. The molten material eventually reaches a steam turbine after moving through the system where the thermal energy is used to generate electricity.
Pictured above is the backside of a trough at SkyFuel’s demo facility in Arvada, Colorado just outside of Boulder.
My brother works at SkyFuel and gave me a tour of their demo facility when I passed through Colorado in December.
This was my most viewed view of 2013. Thank you Andrew, Tammy, Steve, and Joey for being the best roommates I have ever had.