Solaflect receives USD 1 million grant from NREL for solar thermal

Solaflect Energy Inc. (Norwich, Vermont, U.S.) announced that it has received a USD 1 million project award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL, Golden, Colorado, U.S.) for research and development of advanced heliostats for concentrated solar power (CSP) plants.

Solaflect estimates that its Suspension Heliostat design eliminates 60-65% of the steel used in traditional truss-structure heliostats.

"The core challenge in reducing America’s fossil fuel dependency is how to cut the cost of alternative energy," states Bender. "And the primary cost-driver in traditional heliostat structures is steel."

"By reducing steel, we reduce cost and increase efficiency. The only way to achieve that is to leverage the high carrying-capacity of suspension designs. Solaflect’s model proves you can do that without sacrificing performance."

Solaflect notes that project is one of two Concentrating Solar Power projects funded through the DOE’s SunShot Incubator program in late 2011.

The company states that the DOE award will allow it to accelerate further testing, development and validation of performance and technology.