Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii, Kona, HI – Sopogy, Inc. inaugurated the World’s first MicroCSP Solar Thermal Plant today at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii.
The 2 Megawatt thermal energy project which spans across 3.8 acres in the hot Kona desert utilizes 1,000 Sopogy proprietary MicroCSP solar panels. Through the use of mirrors and optics and an integrated sun tracker, these panels achieve higher efficiencies than conventional solar panels. The system also uses a unique thermal energy storage buffer that allows energy to be produced during cloudy periods and to shift energy produced from the day to evening periods.
The project name: “Holaniku at Keahole Point” comes from the Hawaiian term for a location that has everything required for self-sufficiency.
According to Darren T. Kimura, President and CEO of Sopogy, Inc.,
“MicroCSP is an achievement in rugged, modular and cost effective solar thermal technology. The completion and demonstration of this 2 megawatt solar thermal project is an important first step in bringing the solution to the World.”
With the completion of Holaniku, Sopogy now has 8 solar thermal energy facilities operating around the world. Sopogy’s MicroCSP technologies are being used in such diverse applications including process heat, solar air conditioning, roof top deployment and now power generation.
With the initialization of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, the state has become a magnet for renewable energy project development. Sopogy and its local solar project development partner Keahole Solar Power have a goal to bring 30 megawatts of MicroCSP power to the state by 2015.
Thermal energy received by using concentrated MicroCSP™ generates high temperature working fluid to drive either an organic Rankine cycle power block, that includes a turbine and generator, or other thermally driven engines.
Conventional fixed PV panels have an energy conversion efficiency of about 15%. In contrast, efficiencies ranging from 20% to 40% are possible using solar thermal power plants. Solar thermal systems convert the sun’s energy to heat using parabolic solar concentrators that track the sun. The heat energy is used in a conventional steam-fired power plant or in an organic Rankine cycle system to generate electricity. Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is well-suited to smaller, distributed installations in the kilowatt range, such as residential and commercial roof-tops. Solar thermal is more suited for large-scale, industrial/commercial as well as utility-scale energy generation in the megawatt and larger range.
Post a Job! $19 for 30 days
About SopogyFounded in 2002, Sopogy specializes in MicroCSP solar technologies that bring the economics of large solar energy systems to the industrial, commercial and utility sectors in a smaller, robust and more cost effective package. Sopogy’s goal is to create solar solutions that improve the quality of life and simplify the solar power business. Please visit www.sopogy.com for more information.