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Ultra Lite Solar, using thin film material and air pressure enhanced structures, is able to significantly reduce the cost of solar concentrators used in CSP plants.

Ináconjunctionáwith the CSP plant, a thermal based storage system is used to store the heat for continued production of power during cloud cover and at night. áThermal energy storage systems do leak energy, so are short term storage, typically for overnight operation, but multi-day storage is possible.

For economic reasons, most installations just have enough storage for 24 hours as the sun comes up the next day and provides power and recharges the thermal storage system.

This solution may provide power 80% (+/-) of the time in locations with more favourable solar conditions. áFossil fuel would be used within the same CSP plant as a backup, using the same turbine that runs from solar.

Why not 100% of the time? There may only be 300 sunshine days a year in a particular geographic location. áSome areas will have more and some will have less.

Although it is possible to have up to seven days of storage, the cost of the plant would be higher as a result.

According to Wikipedia the solar to electric efficient of a trough plant is about 15%. We assumed 25% in a combined technology plant, but just to go with trough, we will use the 15% number. Therefore: 1 array would have an estimated output of 3 kW.á

1MW plant would require 333 arrays.á

10 MW -> 3,333 Arrays.á

100 MW -> 33,333 Arrays.á

500MW ->166,667 arrays. áá


The above specification is based on a secondary retroreflector as pictured below to tighten the focus from theásphericaláreflective film shape. This would be applicable to CSP applications requiring operating temperatures of 400 C and upward.

Ultra Lite Assm

Ultra Lite Concentrator with secondary retro reflector

For applications requiring much lower temperatures, a retro reflector may not be required. In this instance the solar concentration is about 28 suns. An open air receiver as pictured below can be used.


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