Sunrgi: Solar Power As Cheap As Coal ?  

Posted by Big Gav in , ,

Ecogeek has a post on a startup emerging from stealth mode called Sunrgi, which is selling Spectrolab's concentrating solar PV technology in units that may be able to generate power as cheap as coal. The units actually dump waste heat, so presumably they could be coupled with stirling engines or some sort of cogeneration style setup to generate more power (or at least some hot water or air).

Grid parity...it's what we're all hoping for. That magical moment when solar power (or other renewables for that matter) become available at the cost of current power sources. And, if Sunrgi's claims are to be believed, it could be only 15 months away.

Sunrgi's technology is fairly simple. Basically they use a magnifying glass to concentrate the power of the sun 1600 times onto a tiny square of the most efficient photovoltaic material on the planet. While others are concentrating on bringing the price of the panels down (along with efficiency), Sunrgi actually uses panels from Spectrolab, which are three times more efficient than the cheap panels being produced by NanoSolar.

The photovoltaic cells remain efficient even when collecting these huge amounts of light per square centemeter. However, they don't remain efficient at 3000 degrees F. In fact, if this much light were concentrated on the cells, and the cells were not cooled, they would melt. Sunrgi has developed a proprietary cooling system to keep the ultra-expensive cells at nominal temperatures even at the hottest part of the hottest day. You can see, in the render, that the bottom of the panels actually look like huge CPU heat sinks.

By using such a small amount of photovoltaic material, and such a large amount of cheap magnifying glasses, Sunrgi says that their system should be extremely inexpensive. In fact, they're saying that, in sunny climates, it will be sold for around $0.05 per kilowatt, about the cost of coal. They already have demonstration units running and hope to be selling their first units (to utilities and large businesses) in twelve to fifteen months.

2 comments

(cough) Another example of CSP, eh?

(splutter) I usually call this CPV and reserve CSP for solar thermal power, of course :-)

Post a Comment

Ads

Ads

Statistics

Locations of visitors to this page

blogspot visitor
Stat Counter

Total Pageviews

Ads

Books

Followers

News

Loading...

Blog Archive

Labels

australia (581) global warming (364) solar power (332) peak oil (316) electric vehicles (191) wind power (171) renewable energy (170) ocean energy (154) csp (143) geothermal energy (142) smart grids (139) solar thermal power (133) tidal power (132) coal seam gas (127) nuclear power (121) oil (114) lng (111) geothermal power (110) iraq (108) china (106) solar pv (106) energy storage (104) green buildings (104) natural gas (101) agriculture (85) biofuel (75) oil price (75) smart meters (72) wave power (68) electricity grid (63) energy efficiency (63) uk (63) google (54) coal (52) internet (51) food prices (48) shale gas (48) surveillance (48) bicycle (47) big brother (47) thin film solar (41) biomimicry (38) canada (38) ocean power (37) scotland (36) new zealand (35) air transport (34) algae (34) water (34) queensland (32) credit crunch (31) politics (31) bioplastic (30) concentrating solar power (30) california (29) geoengineering (28) offshore wind power (28) population (28) shale oil (28) cogeneration (27) saudi arabia (27) resource wars (26) arctic ice (25) batteries (25) censorship (25) cleantech (25) woodside (25) bruce sterling (24) drought (24) ctl (23) tesla (23) economics (22) carbon tax (20) coal to liquids (20) distributed manufacturing (20) indonesia (20) iraq oil law (20) origin energy (20) brightsource (19) limits to growth (19) rail transport (19) ultracapacitor (19) buckminster fuller (18) santos (18) ausra (17) exxon (17) lithium (17) cellulosic ethanol (16) collapse (16) electric bikes (16) mapping (16) michael klare (16) ucg (16) atlantis (15) bees (15) geodynamics (15) iceland (15) psychology (15) concentrating solar thermal power (14) fertiliser (14) al gore (13) biodiesel (13) brazil (13) carbon emissions (13) cities (13) ethanol (13) investment (13) kenya (13) ambient energy (12) biochar (12) bucky fuller (12) matthew simmons (12) public transport (12) texas (12) victoria (12) cradle to cradle (11) desertec (11) energy policy (11) lithium ion batteries (11) otec (11) terra preta (11) amory lovins (10) chile (10) fabber (10) gazprom (10) goldman sachs (10) gtl (10) hybrid car (10) internet of things (10) severn estuary (10) tinfoil (10) toyota (10) volt (10) alaska (9) biomass (9) carbon trading (9) distributed generation (9) esolar (9) fuel cells (9) jeremy leggett (9) pge (9) sweden (9) afghanistan (8) antarctica (8) arrow energy (8) big oil (8) eroei (8) floating offshore wind power (8) four day week (8) guerilla gardening (8) linc energy (8) methane (8) methane hydrates (8) nanosolar (8) natural gas pipelines (8) pentland firth (8) relocalisation (8) us elections (8) western australia (8) bloom energy (7) boeing (7) chp (7) climategate (7) copenhagen (7) fish (7) stirling engine (7) vinod khosla (7) airborne wind turbines (6) apocaphilia (6) bolivia (6) ceramic fuel cells (6) cigs (6) futurism (6) jatropha (6) local currencies (6) nigeria (6) ocean acidification (6) saul griffith (6) somalia (6) t boone pickens (6) scenario planning (5) space based solar power (5) varanus island (5) garbage (4) kevin kelly (4) low temperature geothermal power (4) oled (4) tim flannery (4) v2g (4) club of rome (3) global energy grid (2) norman borlaug (2) peak oil portfolio (1)