Utah's Solar Fired Furnace  

Posted by Big Gav in , , , ,

Celsias has a look at a new Fresnel lens based CSP (solar thermal) technology originating in Utah from a company called IAUS - Utah's Solar Fired Furnace to Power California for Less Than the Cost of Coal or Gas.

In an arid region of the western U.S. known as the Great Basin, the desert floor has recently been reaching temperatures in excess of 1,300 degrees Farenheit. No, this isn't due to global warming, but perhaps part of the solution to it. A Utah based company called IAUS (International Automated Systems Inc.) has developed a solar lens technology that transmits solar energy with an efficiency of 92%.

A California energy consortium has invested in the first stage of the project. Twenty specially designed solar towers are being erected close to the Great Basin in Delta, Utah. Each tower holds four solar lenses that follow the sun as it crosses the clear blue desert sky. Each lens will focus the sun's rays onto specially designed heat exchangers that will convert the solar energy to super-heated steam. The heat exchangers double as high-efficiency turbines that will drive electrical generators to produce alternating current output.

Later stages will involve placing 1000 towers over 700 acres of desert. With each tower having a capacity to produce 100 kW of power, the entire field stands to produce close to 100 MW of power when finished. That's enough energy to power 50,000 average Californian homes. Once generated, the power will travel around five miles to be integrated with the U.S. national power grid.

The key to the success of the project are the unique thin-film solar lenses. Lenses of this size are typically heavy and expensive to produce. IAUS have developed a technique of embedding magnifying material into cheap, light, rolled plastic. The plastic is composited into extremely large Fresnel lenses. The lenses are light, relatively cheap to manufacture and easy to maintain. This compares favourably with traditional solar collectors.

The plant is located in one of the best solar locations in the country due to its high altitude and thin air. Solar energy is absorbed as it travels through our atmosphere, so placing a solar energy plant in a rarefied environment allows more solar radiation to be captured. IAUS also point out that the land on which the final solar plant is to be situated is one tenth the price of equivalent land in California. Combined with the comparatively inexpensive cost of the plant equipment, this means that the entire facility would cost roughly half of what a coal fired power plant would cost to construct.


Anonymous   says 12:28 PM


David Mills uses fresnel lenses as well however he uses huge flat ones rather than dishes.

Wonder if his power stations could benefit from this thin film as well. Could make his power even cheaper!

No, steve, it wouldn't. This is a long running penny stock scam that has never buily a working prototype despite claims going back 10 years.

Anonymous   says 7:10 PM

look at your local walmart or grocery store, do you see those check out your own grocery machines, thats their invention and thats beyond a prototype get your facts straight, no scam just people like you trying to bash. sad...iaus will be a $40-50 stock stop readin blogs and rumors look at facts.

Anonymous   says 12:44 PM

Been working with solar/fresnel potential for years. Southern Cal Edison has it right with their new contracts using thin film technology applied to cheap backing,that is galloping ahead. Contracts are for two facilities,total 400+ megawatts. In addition, consider the thousands of miles of grid right of way underneath the grid power lines, much of it over CA desert mountains that isn't worth anything. Same for the rest of the western states, don't forget contiguous Mexico, borderline with Yuma.

Steve   says 1:11 PM

Just checked the stock ticker. $0.35 per share, never been above a dollar a share in five years. This resembles the "Delta ruins" I read about; a renewable energy failure unfortunately.

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