The Science & Society Distinguished Public Talks Series presents, "Overview and Status of Concentrating Solar Power Technologies," a talk by by Thomas Mancini on Thursday, Sept. 22 at 5 p.m. A meet and greet will also be held beginning at 4:30 p.m. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held in room C at the University of New Mexico Conference Center, located at 1634 University Blvd., NE. Plenty of free parking is available.

The talk will focus on Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technologies that utilize concentrating collectors to focus the sun's energy on a thermal receiver where the radiative heat is collected. CSP technologies don't generate electricity directly, as do photovoltaic systems, but use the collected thermal energy to drive heat engine/generators and produce electricity. To achieve economies of scale, CSP systems are generally large, utility- scale systems with capacities of 100 MW or larger. The talk will explore the three basic system architectures of CSP technologies: line focus, parabolic troughs, point-focus central receivers or power towers and point-focus distributed receivers-dish/Stirling systems.

The talk will also review one of the "key" characteristics that some CSP systems are utilizing – cost effective thermal energy storage that allows for the dispatch of electricity as needed. Lastly, we discuss the status of CSP deployments around the world and here in the USA. While Spain currently leads the world in CSP deployments, there are more than 1.5 GW of CSP systems under construction in the Southwest USA.

Mancini recently formed TRMancini Solar Consulting specializing in the technical evaluation and review of concentrating solar (also known as solar thermal electric) power components and systems. Prior to his current position he was the Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) program manager at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, where he led research and development as part of the Department of Energy's Solar Energy Technology Programs. Mancini,a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has published more than 150 technical papers and reports. Mancini also served as the chair of the International Energy Agency's Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems implementing Agreement from 2004 until 2011.

The Science & Society Distinguished Public Talks series are co-sponsored by Albuquerque Section of the Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers (IEEE), Sigma Xi (the Scientific Research Society), the Department of Physics & Astronomy, College of Arts & Sciences, University Honors Program, and the Division of Continuing Education.

Media contact: Steve Carr (505) 277-1821; e-mail: scarr@unm.edu