Solar thermal engineers created supercritical steam – an ultra-hot, ultra-pressurized steam that’s used to drive the world’s most advanced power plant turbines with nothing more than the sun and a fun solar panels.
Ok, there was a little more to it…
The Energy Centre in Newcastle Australia – Was able to generate the highest levels of temperature and pressure EVER recorded using solar power.
“They used heat from the sun, reflected off a field of heliostats (or mirrors) and concentrated onto a central receiver point to create the steam at these supercritical levels. The achievement is being described in the same terms as breaking the sound barrier, so impressive are its possible implications for solar thermal technology.”
This is the first time solar power has been used to generate heat at a ‘supercritical’ level. Up until this point the only way to reach these temperatures and pressures was by burning fossil fuels.
All previous attempts were at a “subcritical level”.
How did they do it? In-Short, mirrors and receiver were synced with computers and with every rotation of the Earth came a turning of the mirrors. There was not 1 nano second during the test that sun was not directed to the receiver.
The test though far from commercial proved that using the ever present and very predictable sun that super heat and pressure can be created. Thus a step in the right direction toward loosing our dependency on oil.[SOURCE](http://csironewsblog.com/2014/06/03/our-solar-team-sets-a-hot-and-steamy-world-record/)