A dish/engine system uses a mirrored dish similar to a very large satellite dish, although to minimize costs, the mirrored dish is usually composed of many smaller flat mirrors formed into a dish shape.
The dish-shaped surface directs and concentrates sunlight onto a thermal receiver, which absorbs and collects the heat and transfers it to the engine generator. The most common type of heat engine used today in dish/engine systems is the Stirling engine. This system uses the fluid heated by the receiver to move pistons and create mechanical power. The mechanical power is then used to run a generator or alternator to produce electricity.