Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Content

Organization

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Biographical Sources

Description of Series

Manuscripts

Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University

Crosbyton Solar Power Project:

An Inventory of Its Records, 1974-1986 and undated, at the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library



Descriptive Summary

Creator Texas Tech University. Dept. of Electrical Engineering
Title: Crosbyton Solar Power Project, Records,
Dates: 1974-1986 and undated
Abstract: The collection contains records concerning the Crosbyton Solar Power Project conducted through Texas Tech's Department of Electrical Engineering in the Texas town of Crosbyton dated between 1974-1986.
Collection # U 53.1
Quantity: 2 boxes (2.0 linear feet)
Language English
Repository: Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University

Biographical Sketch

Through efforts begun in 1974 to find an alternative energy source to slow rapidly rising local utility rates, the town of Crosbyton, Texas was chosen as the site for the Solar Power Project conducted through Texas Tech University's Department of Electrical Engineering. The unique venture came about as a result of the citizens of Crosbyton seeking help from Texas Tech University, after having held town meeting which sought to solve the town's escalating fuel costs. Other entities having a hand with the project included the Department of Energy and West Texas Electric Utility of Abilene.

Under the supervision of Project Director Dr. John Reichert, the inital purpose of the Solar Bowl Project, or Fixed Mirror Distributed Focus, was to verify the output performance of a solar bowl. A 65-foot, bowl-shaped solar dish lined with mirrors and tilted at an angle was constructed to reap maximum sunlight, thereby concentrating the sun's heat and producing temperatures as high as 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat was focused onto a receiver that heated water to create steam, and this steam would then be pumped through a turbine, which would in turn produce electricity.

1981 was a peak year for the project with two notable events. On March 19th, Texas Tech's solar project was featured on ABC's "Good Morning America" as part of the show's American Energy Week series airing from March 16th-21st. Then on March 20th, the project harnessed and sodl the nation's first commerical electricity to be produced from solar stream, with Lighthouse Electric Co-Op being the first to transmit such electrictiy, and Crosbyton Municipal Electrical Power Company being the first power company to ever sell such electricity. As Texas Tech's ADVS mirror was built upon land that had been worked for a generation by Mr. Rex Wheeler of Crosbyton, his household was selected as the first to receive the nation's first commerically sold solar energy produced from solar stream.

The Crosbyton Solar Power Project fell under many difficulties starting in 1983, which eventually led to its demise in 1987. Among the problems cited were the replacement of Project Director Reichert, who was succeeded by Dr. Edgar A. O'Hair, the resignation of department chairperson Russell Seacat, and funding issues for the project. Before its demise, Texas Tech's "A Moment in the Sun" was able to produce many firsts in the field of commercial energy generated from solar steam, including Texas Tech's solar bowl becoming the first device to use high-temperature solar steam to produce electricity and Texas Tech's bowl being the largest solar collector of its kind in the world..

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Scope and Content

The collection contains technical materials, news clippings, and a Solar Thermal kit which pertain to the construction, operation, and dismantling of the Crosbyton Solar Power Project. Also included are 5 contact sheets, 24 negatives, 1 transparency, and 106 prints.

A select number of images concerning the Crosbyton Solar Power Project have been digitized and can viewed at Crosbyton Solar Power Project Photographs, 1980 and undated

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Organization

The collection is arranged alphabetically into the following series:

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Open for research. Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the Holden Reading Room of the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage by staff members. More information on the SWC/SCL's Holding Reading Room procedures

Restrictions on Use

Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements

Researchers are required to wear gloves provided by the Archives when reviewing photographic materials.

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Index Terms

The subject headings used by the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library are derived from the Library of Congress and/or locally developed.
Subjects (Persons)
O'Hair, Edgar.
Reichert, John D.
Subjects (Organizations)
Crosbyton Solar Power Project.
Texas Tech University. Dept. of Electrical Engineering.
Texas Tech University--Faculty.
United States. Dept. of Energy.
Subjects
Fossil fuels--Texas--Crosbyton.
Solar collectors.
Solar energy.
Solar power plants--Technological innovations.
Solar radiation simulation.

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Related Material

For related materials located in the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, see the following collections:

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

U 53.1 Crosbyton Solar Power Project Records, 1974-1986 and undated, Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas

Accession Information

Collection accession #(s): 1987-0053-B.

Donation, 1987

Processing Information

Processed by: Lynn Whitfield, March 1998

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Biographical Sources

Bryans, Mark Adrian. Design and Analysis of a Distributed Control System for a Multi-Bowl Solar Power Plant. Thesis (M.S. in E.E.)--Texas Tech University, 1985.

Chao, Shih-cheng. Computer Based Data Processing System for the Crosbyton Solar Power Project. Thesis (M.S. in E.E.)-- Texas Tech University, 1981.

Edwards, William H. Real-Time Automated Data Acquisition and Control for the Crosbyton Solar Power Project. Thesis (M.S. in E.E.)-- Texas Tech University, 1980.

Holder, Daniel. Performance and Cost Study of a 5MW Solar-Fossil Hybrid Electric Plant. Thesis (M.S. in E.E.)--Texas Tech University, 1985.

Subramanyam, Savithri. Simulation of the Crosbyton Receiver. Thesis (Ph. D.)--Texas Tech University, 1986.

Walter, Joseph L. Comparison of Analog Design Verification System Data to Receiver Heat Transfer Code Outputs for the Crosbyton Solar Power Project. Thesis (M.S. in E.E.)--Texas Tech University, 1989.

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Collection Inventory

Manuscripts

box folder
1 1 Center for Energy Research Annual Reports, 1978- 1984
2 Conference Proceedings, May 1974
3 Correspondence Reguarding Crosbyton Dismissals & Registrations, 1983
4 Drawing, undated
5 ICASALS Newsletters, 1979- 1980
6 News Releases, undated
7 News Releases, 1975
8 News Releases, February-December 1976
9 News Releases, February-June 1977
10 News Releases, September-December 1977
11 News Releases, February-May 1978
12 News Releases, June-October 1978
13 News Releases, November-December 1978
14 News Releases, 1979
15 News Releases, January-February 1979
16 News Releases, March-April 1979
17 News Releases, May-July 1979
18 News Releases, August-November 1979
19 News Releases, Spring-Winter 1980
20 News Releases, January-September 1980
21 News Releases, October-December 1980
22 News Releases, Spring-Summer 1981
23 News Releases, January-March 1981
24 News Releases, March-May 1981
25 News Releases, June-December 1981
26 News Releases, January-November 1982
box folder
2 1 News Releases, January 1983
2 News Releases, February 1983
3 News Releases, March-April 1983
4 News Releases, June-September 1983
5 News Releases January-December 1984
6 News Releases, February-June 1985
7 News Releases, January-October 1986
8 Paper: Initial Tests of a Lightweight, Self-Excited MHD Power.., undated
9 Site Photographs, 1979
10 Solar Thermal Report, 1981
11 Sparkles and Sparks Newsletters, 1981
12 Texas Tech News Releases, 1983
13 Technology Publication, 1978-1979
14 Technology Publication, 1980-1982
15 Texas Techsan, 1971- 1983
16 Travel Application, 1986
17 Solar Thermal Power Technical Information Kit

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