Southwest Solar Technologies, Inc. announced today that it has made significant advances in Concentrating Photovoltaic (CPV) technology that it believes will lead to major competitive advantages in the market. The Company confirmed commencement of on-sun testing of its innovative CPV semi-dense array modules with integrated optics, thermal management, power conversion and data collection. This Alpha Testing phase is being conducted at the Company’s Research Park in Phoenix, where CPV modules are currently being manufactured by the Company as part of its product development program.
“We believe that our patent pending CPV design can be disruptive in the market to the current utility-scale PV and other CPV and CSP systems, by overcoming the limitations of those systems and providing additional flexibility and value, higher efficiency, and lower cost,” said Brad Forst, CEO.
Specifically, the Company said its module is capable of operating with nonuniform flux (concentrated sunlight) using a novel approach in secondary optics and power conversion, which for the first time enables the modular CPV to be integrated into a range of sizes of solar dishes and tower/heliostat collectors and is not captive to a particular design or system. As an alternative to other CSP the technology uses no water and provides an alternative to steam and other power generators. The system is high concentration and incorporates dual axis tracking for greater capacity, and utilizes CPV cells that are capable of 40% efficiency or more. Lower cost per kWh power will additionally result from the design focus on low cost components and manufacturing processes.
Active liquid cooling is used allowing by-product heat from the CPV array to be used in combined heat and power (CHP) applications for on-site thermal needs, providing a dual solar energy value for distributed generation applications such as domestic heat and steam.
The secondary optical element is a novel application of an industrial glass and pre-forming process using Schott Conturax(R) brand borosilicate glass from SCHOTT North America. The module is liquid-cooled using a Cold Plate design from MaxQ Technology, Tempe, Arizona, developed for electric vehicle applications.
The Company’s operations are conducted at Southwest Solar Research Park in Phoenix. www.swsolartech.com
SOURCE: Southwest Solar Technologies, Inc.