Our core technology consists of our MicroCSP solar collectors, thermal energy storage and tracking systems and controls. Our solar collectors consist of small-scale, parabolic, concentrating reflective troughs with optics designed to capture the sun’s radiation and convert it into useful energy. Specifically, they use modular, curved reflective surfaces to focus the sun’s heat onto receiver tubes. The receiver tubes consist of a system of low-pressure non-evacuated boiler tubes through which conductive heat transfer fluid flows. The concentrated sunlight heats the fluid in the tubes, generating high-temperature fluid for use in multiple applications, such as power generation, process heat and solar air conditioning.
The use of low temperature heat transfer fluid as a conductive fluid and low pressure non-evacuated boiler tubes allows our systems to cost-effectively produce power in regions with lower DNI. In addition, our systems are air-cooled, allowing us to more effectively sell into regions where access to water is limited. In contrast, many large-scale CSP systems use super-heated steam engines, high pressure non-evacuated receiver tubes, water-based cooling or large-scale fan-based solar air cooling and fragile vacuum collectors. As a result, we believe large-scale CSP technology is better suited for locations with high DNI and for large-scale utility power plant applications.
Our MicroCSP technology has been deployed in systems generating electric power, process heat and solar air conditioning. The thermal efficiency of our system which we define as sunlight hitting our product and creating solar thermal heat, ranges from approximately 59% to 64% depending on variables including DNI and… For power generation applications, we convert the solar heat into electric power using a turbine, ultimately resulting in total system efficiency for power generation applications of roughly 23% to 25%.] Our systems convert the thermal energy in fluids in a range of 65 to 315 degrees Celsius and at less than 300 pounds per square inch, or PSI, system pressure. Today, on an unsubsidized basis, we believe our systems, including our tracking and storage capability, offer what we believe to be a cost competitive LCOE at or below most retail electric rates.