Sunvapor announced that it is the recipient of a $2.2 million total cooperative award from the U. S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative. The award will enable Sunvapor to reduce the cost of concentrating solar collectors while greening the supply chain.
Sunvapor is a partner in the “High Temperature InGaN Thermionic Topping Cells” Consortium project to develop a hybrid solar receiver that produces electricity directly through the photovoltaic effect while heating a fluid to produce electricity in a thermodynamic power plant. The high energy portion of the solar spectrum is absorbed by a novel high-temperature tandem cell derivative of LED technology while the low energy spectrum is transmitted by the cell to heat the fluid. This way, more electricity can be produced per square meter of collector, and part of the energy can be stored inexpensively in molten salt tanks to generate electricity at night.
“This award will help us demonstrate that the cost of solar can be drastically cut by taking advantage of renewable fiber-reinforced composite materials,” said Dr. Philip Gleckman, Sunvapor’s CEO. “Our digitally optimized designs look different and have a simpler construction because we are liberated from the rules that apply to steel,” he added. Fuel for process heat represents nearly half of all the primary energy used by manufacturers in the USA, contributing a fifth of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. “Solar process steam is the Sleeping Giant of renewable energy,” said James Valenti-Jordan, formerly with Campbell Soup Company and now a Sunvapor Advisor. “Sunvapor’s breakthrough collector will enable food processors to purchase steam at lower prices than natural gas,” he continued.
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.