Concentrating Solar Power: Gossamer Innovations Unveils the World?s Largest Aperture Trough Installation

On May 2nd, 2012 Gossamer Innovations Inaugurated The World’s Largest Aperture Parabolic Trough Installation- A New Benchmark in Solar Collectors for Commercial Power Production. Cutting edge design and performance reduces costs for Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), creates manufacturing jobs in California and achieves this without any government subsidies.

Gossamer Innovations new parabolic trough solar collector technology is designed to significantly reduce equipment and installation costs for CSP systems used in commercial power generation. The Large Aperture Trough 73 (LAT 73) features a concentration factor of over 100x and an aperture size of 7.3 m, both world benchmarks for the industry.

The system combines the durability, design flexibility, and high reflectivity of Solar Mirror Film, instead of glass, with the mechanical design innovations of Gossamer Space Frames; the result is a CSP solar collector system that reduces the installed cost of a parabolic trough solar field by over 25 percent. The demonstration system is fully operational and is installed at the Sunray Energy facility in Daggett, California. Sunray is owned and operated by Cogentrix Energy, LLC (Cogentrix) and is the longest operating CSP facility in the United States. An event and ribbon cutting ceremony was hosted by Cogentrix, 3M and Gossamer on May 2, 2012, at the Sunray facility and introduced the demonstration system.

“By combining innovations in materials and Gossamer Space Frames Innovations in structure, tracking systems, and alignment, we are leading the industry on a new cost-reduction trend,” said Glenn Reynolds, President and Co-founder of Gossamer Innovations. “Many in the industry thought the re-birth of CSP was not possible, but we are delighted to prove them wrong. Not only does this design revitalize CSP, but the entire system comprises U.S.-manufactured components that, in turn, help to create U.S. jobs. We are thrilled to continue leading the way in CSP.”

KABC News reported that "New IE solar power facility aims to be ‘game-changer." In an on-site report, Leticia Juarez from KABC stated "that new technology added to a solar power facility in the desert is being called a "game-changer. Just outside of Barstow in the town of Daggett is the world’s first facility to harness the power of the sun for electricity. Two decades ago the Sunray Solar facility was considered a pioneer in renewable energy. Now a Huntington Beach company is hoping to launch the next generation in solar energy."

Gossamer Innovations is located in Huntington Beach, Calif and has been involved in commercial solar production since the industries infancy. Gossamer currently has 6 major utility scale CSP plants deployed in the US and Spain with various demonstration platforms. The combined output totals well over 300 MW. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has verified performance of the newest system, measuring an optical accuracy of more than 99 percent.

“We are pleased to be the first site for this state-of-the art technology,” said Sid Frymyer, General Manager of Sunray Energy. “Innovative developments like this help demonstrate the on-going advancements that lower the cost of solar energy within the U.S. power supply mix.”
The new system began operating in October 2011 and is contributing to the electrical output of the Sunray facility, all of which is provided under contract to Southern California Edison.

Gossamer Space Frames has received significant interest in the LAT 73 system from the global CSP industry. A second LAT 73 project is underway in the Southern U.S., with the project commissioning scheduled for late June 2012.

For 10 years the engineer founders of Gossamer Space Frames have been exploring the world of technical possibilities looking to create the best answers to meet the fundamental energy needs of mankind. Gossamer has created an innovation engine that is deriving and conveying these solutions to present day applications. The vision of Gossamer Innovations is to impact the world through lowest cost renewable energy systems by envisioning grid parity for utility-scale CSP plants and lower-output, distributed CSP generation for rural electrification. The founders of Gossamer Space frames are the recipients of numerous patents and awards in their field.