Concentrated solar power is indirect and is usually focused on heating and boiling water which then provides power. Concentrating solar systems are made of mirrors or lenses. “Regular” solar power is direct and most often harvested with PV panels.
Concentrated solar power uses lenses or mirrors to concentrate light on to receivers to produce heat energy, which is then converted to electricity by steam turbines or a heat engine driving a generator. The regular solar power you might be thinking of uses photovoltaic cells to collect sunlight and convert it into electricity.
I had a different response to the language in this question. “regular” solar power to me refers to the photosynthetic process of plants, where energy from sunlight is harnessesed to break carbon compounds into organic sugars.
Photovoltaic’s utilize the photoelectric properties of some materials to capture photons “knocked out” of atomic alignment by the force of solar raditaiton.
“concentrated” or “solar thermal” technologies, like others stated before, usually refers to the use of parabolic mirrors to reflect and concentrate light spread over a large area, into a small area, producing high heat. On the large scale, the heat is used to generate steam and drive a turbine, producing electricity.
On a small scale You can set up a horizonatal parabolic solar collector to heat water for showers, run the hot water through pipes under your floor boards to heat your living space, or even use a small steam engine to run an alternator to generate electricity.
The biggest difference is that “regular” PV’s are directly turning sunlight into moving electricity. Concetrated solar thermal plants
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