Ghenova and CAPSUN Technologies have jointly developed the SPIRE project, a disruptive technology that integrates the best features of Photovoltaic Plants (PV) and Concentrated Solar Plants (CSPs). The concept is simple: by means of a selective optical filter, the light spectrum is divided. The filter allows the efficient passage of the radiation used by the photovoltaic panel (mainly visible light) while reflecting 40% of the energy.
- Country: Spain
- YEAR OF START/END: 2016/2018
- REGION: Southern Europe
- BUSINESS AREA: Industry
THE TECHNICAL SOLUTION
CAPSUN Technologies and GHENOVA Engineering have jointly developed the SPIRE and BLUESOLAR project, a disruptive technology that integrates the best features of Photovoltaic Plants (PV) and Concentration Solar Plants (CSP).
The concept is simple: using a selective optical filter, the light spectrum is divided. The filter allows the efficient passage of the radiation used by the photovoltaic panel (mainly visible light) while reflecting 40% of the energy (mainly blue and infrared light). << This technology does not lose compared to a 1 axis photovoltaic plant. SOLAR BLUE converts the heat that currently overheats photovoltaic cells into thermal energy (using a Tower-CSP-TES system).
This thermal energy can be used for various applications. The main and most immediate is the use of thermal energy storage (TES) as a reliable and cost-effective alternative to batteries for photovoltaic plants. But many other uses of this smart combination of electricity and heat can be addressed: desalination, industrial process heat, agriculture, district heating / cooling, etc. SPIRE has zero CO2 emissions. It is suitable for off-grid solutions, without the need for a fuel supply, scalable and integrable with other technologies. SPIRE’s custom filter designs can be tailored to each location, particular light spectrum, and dedicated applications and modes of operation.
In terms of performance and economic parameters, SPIRE outperforms everyone: no energy dumping, less space per installed power, more competitive prices than PV + batteries that double the battery life cycle, no degradation like silver mirrors (Filters are made of inorganic oxides), less attenuation than current CSP towers, scalable without billionaire investments to get good energy prices that can be dispatched by the sun, fast and economical starting turbine allowing fast response to energy shortages due to clouds etc.
And on top of that, SPIRE is almost ready to be marketed. Filters have been successfully tested and are simple to manufacture as they are based on current window manufacturing processes. It links PV and CSP, commercial and well-proven technologies, and future improvements to both will also bring benefits to SPIRE.