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Directory:Concentrated Solar Power

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Directory of technologies and resources relating to concentrating solar energy to increase conversion efficiency.

Solar Concentrators can be divided into several catagories among them are photovoltaic systems and thermal systems. Photovoltaic systems turn light directly into electricity. Thermal systems use the concentrated sunlight to create heat which will typically turn a turbine.

Overviews

Overview of Concentrating Solar Power - Overview article at The Energy Blog.

Concentrating Hybrids

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Directory:Solar > Directory:Solar PhotoVoltaics / Directory:Solar Thermal > Entech Solar energy hybrid has hopes for bright future - Entech Solar's next-generation concentrating solar prototype, ThermaVolt II, combines concentrating photovoltaic and thermal (CPVT) technology. The company says its product delivers four to five times the amount of energy compared to traditional photovoltaic systems and costs less to produce. (GizMag August 14, 2009)

Concentrating Photovoltiac Systems (Commercially Available)

Amonix
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Amonix - High Concentration Photovoltaic (HCPV) power generation systems for large commercial and utility scale applications offer significant cost savings by using inexpensive flat, plastic Fresnel lenses to concentrate sunlight approximately 500 times. The Amonix high-concentration silicon solar cell holds the world record for the performance of a cell manufactured in a commercial environment (26.5% efficiency).

Concentrix
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Concentrix Solar GmbH - FLATCON®, uses concentrator PV modules to focus sunlight on high-performance solar cells, which then directly convert solar energy into electricity. Fresnel lenses focus direct sunlight through a 2mm-diameter focal x`point, concentrating the sunlight by a factor of 500.

Green and Gold Energy SunCube
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Directory:Green and Gold Energy - Award-winning solar technology uses Fresnel lenses to focus sun's energy onto photovoltaic cells. 5.8 cents per kWh. Commercial product release slated for 2008. (http://www.greenandgoldenergy.com.au)

Infinia
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Directory:InfiniaCorp' - Infinia's solar technology entails a parabolic dish that focuses the sun's energy onto their stirling engine that uses helium in a hermetically sealed system, requiring no lubrication inside the machine, nor maintenance. (PESWiki Feb. 21, 2008)

Pacific SolarTech
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Pacific SolarTech - Concentrator photovoltaic modules for utility-scale, remote and grid-connected systems use dome-shaped lenses to concentrate sunlight 10x onto small solar cells (1/10 of the lens size). This reduces the requisite amount of silicone, making solar power affordable. Dome-shaped lenses can catch diffuse light and redirect it to the solar cells with a fixed, non-tracking mount for rooftop applications.

SHEC Labs
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Latest: Directory:Storage > Directory:Hydrogen >Directory:Hydrogen Storage / Directory:Solar > Directory:Concentrated Solar Power > Directory:Solar Thermal > Directory:Solar Hydrogen Energy Corporation (SHEC) Labs > NEST Lines up Grid-Parity Solar - The first success story of the New Energy Systems Trust (NEST) seems to have already commenced with us lining up a breakthrough grid-parity solar company with an order for 4500 one-megawatt systems in India. SHEC Labs is a likely vendor of the biomass-to-H technology, if not using their solar thermal storage breakthrough. (PESN May 9, 2012)
SOL3G
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SOL3G Spanish company manufacturing solar photovoltaic concentrators using 32% efficient triple junction cells. System is commerically available in MW quantities in 2008.

Solergy
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Directory:Solar > Directory:Solar PhotoVoltaics / Directory:Concentrated Solar Power > Solergy Launches Next-Gen CPV With Record-Breaking Efficiency - Solergy's CPV systems featuring an all-glass optical concentrating lens - the world's first. The all-glass optics, high-precision tracking and optimized basic energy unit ensure that Solergy's system consistently produces more energy than any other PV or CPV product in existence. (Solar Daily Nov. 17, 2010)
SolFocus
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SolFocus combines the record-setting efficiency of triple-junction solar cells with the tremendous power of tailored imaging optics. The current designs of SolFocus promise to deliver the lowest cost per Watt of installed energy as well as the lowest cost per kW/h of any solar PV design for the foreseeable future. Company is shipping product in MW quantities in 2008.

VP3Solar Spin Cell
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Latest: Directory:Solar > Directory:Concentrated Solar Power > Directory:Solar PhotoVoltaics > Directory:V3 Solar's Spin Cell - V3Solar's Spin Cell is claimed to be capable of generating over 20 times more electricity than a flat panel with the same area of PV cells thanks to a combination of concentrating lenses, dynamic spin, conical shape, and advanced electronics. The V3 Spin Cell features two cones, one made up of hundreds of triangular PV cells ... (PESWiki October 6, 2012)

Concentrating Photovoltiac Systems (Commercially Availablity Expected in 2009)

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Congress:Top 100 Technologies -- RD: Directory:Solar > Directory:Concentrated Solar Power > Directory:Cool Earth Solar > Directory:Cool Earth Solar - In 1-hour interview, CEO, Rob Lamkin, discusses how his company's inflatable solar concentrator technology slashes materials costs, making solar farms able to compete with natural gas plants, and eventually even coal plants. Commercial deployment expected next year (2009) could satisfy a large portion of Gore's 10-years-to-100%-renewable initiative. (FreeEnergyNow Aug. 9, 2008)

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Directory:Sunrgi LLC Solar Energy Systems - Focusing the sun's rays 2000x and pulling the heat away from the photovoltaic cells, combined with a method of low-cost mass production, the Xtreme concentrated photovoltaics by SUNRGI are expected to produce in the range of 5-7 cents per kilowatt hour. (PESWiki May 2, 2008)

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Whitfield Solar British company developing a solar concentrated PV system using fresnel lenses and triple junction cells. Pilot systems installed in Spain in 2006. Should be available in commercial MW volumes in 2009.

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Prism Solar Technologies manufactures a new type of photovoltaic module that uses transparent holographic optical elements to reduce the amount of silicon required. Spectral selection keeps it cool. Passive tracking reduces the cost.

Soliant (Heliotube)
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Soliant - Heliotube brings together the efficiency of concentrator technology with the convenience of a traditional flat panel. Heliotube’s concentrators have integrated tracking built into the panel, enabling non-penetrating roof mounting and more uniform power throughout the day. The company's patent-pending approach uses 88% less photovoltaic material than traditional panels.

Concentrating Photovoltaic Systems (in development)

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Latest: Directory:Solar > Directory:Concentrated Solar Power / Directory:Solar Thermal > Directory:IBM / Bruno Michel's HCPVT solar collectors magnify sun 2000x to create electricity and heat - An inventor with IBM has come up with a concentrated solar technology that both creates electricity and generates heat, for a combined collector efficiency of 80%. Airlight Energy is planning to sell some Solar Sunflowers to early adopters in 2016, and then ramp up to full commercial manufacturing capacity in 2017. (PESWiki September 7, 2015)
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Directory:Solar > Directory:Concentrated Solar Power > ZenithSolar Creates Solar Generator with Incredible 72% Efficiency - Israel-based energy company ZenithSolar has broken records with its 3rd generation CHP solar energy generator (Solar Z20) that combines heat and power systems to create an incredible 72% solar conversion efficiency by using a “semi-parabolic optical mirror for collecting solar energy” to power the local community’s electric and hot water use. (Inhabitat Oct. 20, 2010)
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Directory:Solar > Directory:Concentrated Solar Power > Directory:Solar PhotoVoltaics > Truly Amazing Advanced Solar Cell from Israel - Prof David Faiman of Zenith Solar says: "When we collect the light, instead of using a huge area of solar cells, we use an equal area of cheap glass mirrors and they are curved in such a way as to concentrate the light onto a very small solar cell, the size of just one cell, and in this way you concentrate the light a thousand times and you can get a thousand times more power out of a small cell." (iPlanet Energy News Apr. 26, 2010)
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Start-up: Affordable solar power possible in a year - SUNRGI's "concentrated photovoltaic" system, to be produced by mid-2009, installed at 7 cents per kilowatt hour, relies on lenses to magnify sunlight 2,000 times, letting it produce as much electricity as standard panels with a far smaller system. (USA Today April 30, 2008)

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CoolEarth Solar - Directory:Cool Earth Solar develops and owns solar power plants utilizing a proprietary concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) technology (reflective balloons). Coolearth has engineered a cost efficient power plant that competes economically with conventional fuels and received $21 million in VC funding. (Inhabitat Feb. 4. 2008)

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New Kind of Solar Plant - GreenVolts concentrated solar PV plants are being installed in California by PG&E as solar peaker plants designed to produce up to five megawatts during the peak demand at the hottest part of the day. They're composed of small mirrors that concentrate the sun's light on a small, ultra-efficient photovoltaic cell. (EcoGeek Jul. 3, 2007)

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Slicing Up Silicon for Cheaper Solar - Solaria, a startup based in Fremont, CA, intends to cut the cost of solar panels by decreasing the amount of expensive material required. It has recently started shipping its first panels to select customers. This spring the company will begin production of solar panels at a factory built to produce 25 megawatts of solar panels per year. (MIT Technology Review March 14, 2008)

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Directory:Lateral Aperture Design - "Think of a sheet of glass set out to capture the sunlight instead of letting the light pass through or reflecting it off somewhere, it captures the light inside the thickness of the pane. It then redirects it toward an edge, or a number of them, where it then emerges at a concentration ratio." (PESWiki July 23, 2008)

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Entech - Inexpensive Fresnel lenses capture the sunlight, and focus it onto small solar cells, thereby reducing electricity costs compared to conventional flat-plate (planar) solar energy approaches. Concentrating the sunlight to 20 times its normal intensity reduces the use of expensive silicon cell material by 95%.

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Maxxun - Development of luminescent solar energy concentrators with special coatings to enhance the light output of these concentrators by 2-3 times. The concentrators are combined with highly efficient photovoltaic cells and it is anticipated that these systems will provide solar energy at a cost which is competitive with the grid.

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Solenergy - Sunflower SRC Solar Ridge Concentrators are a simple, reliable and low cost way to generate twice as much energy as fixed modules. They have achieved a recordable 12 cents per kW-hour energy cost. Ridge concentrators do not require precise tracking, which makes them very simple in installation and reliable in operation.

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Stellaris has demonstrated Concentrating Photovoltaic Glazing (CPG) can lower manufacturing costs of solar modules by more than 40% versus those of leading competitors in the solar industry. Superior encapsulation technique also increases efficiency by over 20% and provides greater protection of the photovoltaic (PV) material. Final module cost approaches $1.00/Watt.

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Directory:Sliver Solar Cells - New manufacturing process developed at the Australian National University uses as little as 1/30th the amount of hyper-pure silicon as in square solar PV technology. Manufacturing plant is complete, and process testing is underway. Commercial modules projected to be available by mid 2007. The thinness of the wafers makes them flexible and both top and bottom surfaces are active

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Directory:Sol Solution Is developing a photovoltaic system that takes advantage of chromatic aberration called a 'Rainbow Concentrator' to separate and concentrate the solar spectrum. This will allow higher efficiencies for solar cells that are optimized for a specific range of wavelengthshttp://Sol-Solution.net/Technology.html.

H2Go has committed to first generation design incorporating non-imaging compound concentrating optics employing the Spectrolab triple junction cells. The concentration ratio is 500 suns, allowing for passive cooling.

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Infinia - 3 kW Solar Stirling product for commercial and residential users will generate electricity more efficiently and economically than Photovoltaic (PV) systems. It concentrates sunlight on a free-piston Stirling engine made from common materials using low-cost manufacturing techniques, delivering a net system efficiency of over 24%.

Sunengy Liquid Solar Array - The LSA system is based on floating solar collectors made mostly of plastic. Each has a very small area of silicon photovoltaic cells at the water surface with a large, thin plastic focussing lens rotating slowly above to track the sun. Has the potential to produce electricity for 3 US cents / kWhr.

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SV Solar - Silicon Valley Solar manufactures flat plate, internal concentrator solar modules, that produce 16% more power with half the solar cells. Sol-X modules do not require tracking, use no moving parts, and deliver efficiency, reliability, cost effectiveness and ease of integration.

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Energy Innovations - Standing over five feet square and five feet high, the Sunflower™ has 25 mirrors that track the sun, reflecting light onto the receiver. The solarcell array turns concentrated light into electricity while fans keep operating tempuratures low.

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Solarsphere - Technology combines elements of both direct intercept dishes and Solar Towers. The design philosophy that focuses on spheres and lightweight, thin film materials presents opportunities for concentrators that are large, cheap and mass producible.

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Directory:Cool Earth Solar - Company has developed an inflatable solar concentrator technology that slashes materials costs, making solar farms competitive with commercial electricity generation systems within three years.

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Cost-effective solar - Pythagoras Solar is focused on changing the economics of photovoltaic technology through innovation of the basic technical principles. The company is working to combine software models, optic design, semiconductor processes, materials science, and mass manufacturing techniques to build highly durable, cost effective solar energy products. (CNET News Feb. 19, 2008)

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SVV Technology Innovations - SVVTI has introduced cost effective "Reflective Lens" solar concentrating collectors featuring high single-stage concentration ability. The reflective array design is free from the light-dispersion effects of conventional refractive lenses, which allows for obtaining much higher efficiencies.

Solaflect Energy - By reducing the cost of heliostat mirror arrays, SunTrakker makes central receiver solar energy production economically viable - without subsidies or credits - today.

Concentrating Thermal Systems

AORA
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Template: 43 / Latest: Directory:Solar > Directory:Concentrated Solar Power > Directory:AORA Hybrid Solar - Israeli company combines a modular concentrated solar tower technology with other heat sources to enable its plants to be baseload capable, providing utility power needs 24/7/365. Each 'solar flower' is designed to produce 100 kW of electricity as well as 170kW of thermal power, targeting community-sized production. (PESWiki July 3, 2009)
Ausra
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Ausra Opens First U.S. Solar Thermal Power Factory - Ausra, the developer of utility-scale solar thermal power headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, officially opened the reflector production line of its first North American manufacturing and distribution center in Las Vegas. At full capacity, it will annually produce more than 700 megawatts of solar collectors. (Ausra News Release June 30, 2008)

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Large solar energy plant opens near Bakersfield - The Carrizo Plain power plant by Palo Alto startup Ausra, has long rows of mirrors that generate as much as 5 megawatts of electricity, enough for 3,750 homes. The mirrors focus sunlight on tubes filled with water, generating steam that then turns a turbine to produce electricity. (Video) (San Francisco Chronicle Oct. 23, 2008)

Beam Down Solar
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Beam-Down Solar Concentrator Dramatically Reduces Costs at Price of Efficiency - By seeking to cut costs with the production of energy and building the necessary infrastructure, scientists from the Masdar Institute along with their colleagues from the Tokyo Institute of Technology and Cosmo Oil (?) are studying how to convert old, expensive solar concentrator technology to a new and more flexible one: The Beam Down Project. (The Green Optimistic Jan 22, 2010)

BrightSource
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BrightSource Energy lands $115 million for solar 'power tower' - BrightSource Energy has raised $115 million, a hefty vote of confidence for its solar power tower technology that converts heat to electricity. (CNet May 13, 2008)

Google
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Directory:Solar > Directory:Concentrated Solar Power > Google Ups R&D to Make Solar Cheaper than Coal Google's new patented concentrated solar technology makes use of a camera to adjust mirrors that optimize a given plant’s efficiency. The camera and a processing computer are located within the central tower of the solar thermal plant, and if a misalignment, or better (more efficient) angle is detected, then the mirrors are adjusted by robotic actuators. (News:Inhabitat June 9, 2011)
eSolar
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eSolar: Utility-Scale Solar Power - eSolar heliostats were designed to minimize cost, realizing economy-of-scale benefits at much smaller power plant sizes than traditional solar thermal plants. Mass manufacturing means eSolar power plants are cost competitive with fossil fuels.

Renewables Cheaper than Coal - Google announced a new initiative, known as RE

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