SkyFuel, Inc. designs and manufactures solar thermal power technology for utility-grade electricity generation and industrial applications.

SkyFuel, Inc., a designer and manufacturer of advanced parabolic trough systems used for utility-grade electricity generation and industrial steam applications, recently completed efficiency testing of its large-aperture SkyTrough DSP® collector. Efficiency of the collector reached 76% while tracking the sun and represents a significant milestone in the development of high efficiency, low-cost parabolic troughs for solar thermal power generation systems.  

SkyFuel’s DSP® collector measures 7.6 meters at the aperture and 150 meters in length, a 65% comparable surface area increase to SkyFuel’s current commercial SkyTrough collector. SkyFuel expects the combined high efficiency and economy of scale from increased surface area to result in a 20% cost reduction over current state-of-the-art systems. In addition, SkyTrough DSP has been designed to accommodate high temperature molten salt as the working fluid, reducing the cost of thermal storage and increasing the efficiency of power generation systems. 

“This optical efficiency represents the best in the industry for a large aperture trough,” says Kelly Beninga, President of SkyFuel. “This is a real achievement in bringing solar thermal energy to broad commercial adoption.”

With these results, SkyFuel has begun the commissioning of a molten salt test loop utilizing the SkyTrough DSP® collector, and anticipates validating operating temperatures up to of 550 degrees Celsius. Using high-temperature molten salt directly in the trough receivers allows for higher storage capacities and a simpler system design compared to oil-based systems. SkyFuel plans to use SkyTrough DSP for several applications, including Integrated Solar Combined Cycle natural gas hybrid systems, high temperature solar/biomass hybrid power systems, and applications where 24 hour per day operation is required.

SkyFuel, Inc. designs and manufactures solar thermal power technology for utility-grade electricity generation and industrial applications. Its products include the high performance SkyTrough® parabolic trough concentrating solar collector — a breakthrough in cost and constructability resulting from significant design and material innovations, and ReflecTech®PLUS mirror film.