Solar Gradient Ponds capture the heat of the sun through absorption of radiant energy. They take advantage of the selective absorption of water, which occurs approximately 1.5 meters below the surface. To prevent the normal thermal mixing due to convection, the bottom layer of the pond is a saturated brine solution of high density, overlain by a layer of fresh water of low density. In between lies a transition zone where the percentage of salt rises dramatically from the fresh water zone to the brine zone. This zone of changing salt concentration is called the "gradient", and is stable because the salt concentration increases downward. Building and maintaining the gradient is a key technology recently perfected at UTEP and available to the Company.
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