New solar collector with heliostats

Profitability is a general maxim that is strictly followed in the world of concentrated solar energy. In this line, a Start The United States could transform the market with an innovative solar collector design in which the heliostats no longer have their own motor and carrier to share it. The change is substantial because with it a 33% reduction in equipment costs, from an average of $ 120 per square meter to $ 80.

While the price of the proposed design is still $ 5 per square meter above the target, the achievement is significant. Upon reaching it, Skysun, a Start of Ohio which counts for this development with the support of Sandia National Laboratories and with the funding of the Department of Energy of the United States (DOE).

The essence of the project is simple and the result reflects it: contain the costs of concentrating solar energy with a new collector. Compared to traditional mirrors, in which the mirrors which reflect heat and concentrate it towards the receivers are each equipped with its own base and motor; in this case, we go from the concept of unity to the concept of a whole.

So, Skysun unites mirrors to share a docking system and motor. When it comes to installation costs alone, the change has the potential to cut them by no more and no less than half. According to Ministry of Energy No other attempt produced such a result and in fact became neither competitive nor feasible.

To achieve this, the company had to ensure that the system was affordable but also, of course, comparable to those that already exist in terms of performance. And, in principle, he succeeded. The results obtained with a laboratory prototype in which positioning was taken into account to minimize shadows between mirrors are within market standards.

However, work continues with this collector so that, as expected, it can move towards a significant reduction in the costs of concentrating solar energy. Thus, since Skysun, they continue to advance to refine their technology and launch it on the market. To do this, the firm is currently looking for partners to collaborate with this objective.