Gossamer Innovations, in conjunction with 3M, is nearing completion on a large aperture trough for the University of Louisiana in La Fayette.
The University intends to use the installation for testing ORC (organic rankine cycle) designs for electrical generation from the sun’s thermal energy. This is only one of several similar installations planned for deployment in different parts of the world, keeping alive the promise of CSP power generation via collaborative efforts with strategic partners.
ORC technology harnesses heat to generate electricity for many industrial and manufacturing uses and therefore has an extremely wide range of commercial applications. ORC units convert the heat collected by solar concentrators into electricity without relying on the high temperatures of the steam cycle. As such, CSP systems along with ORC units improve cost-effectiveness of power generation systems in the range of 5MW and 10MW. Electric power of this magnitude is ideal for industrial and agricultural needs in remote locations that are not tied in to the grid. In addition CSP/ORC power plants can produce electricity without any fossil-fuel consumption, hence, without the production of any greenhouse gases and pollutants. According to Dr. Dan Chen, Business Development Manager at the 3M Renewable Energy Division, “From an engineering point of view, ORC and LAT is a near perfect match for energy production.”
Gossamer’s large aperture trough (LAT) is the latest in proven solar field technology and is the only large trough design that is commercially available. Notes Glenn Reynolds, President and co-founder of Gossamer Innovations, “We were thrilled to get the call from the University to work on this interesting and challenging project. This specific LAT design was developed for high-wind locations such as the Gulf Coast states where gale-force winds are not uncommon.” Gossamer is not new to designing solar fields where high winds predominate. The company won the 2011 Power-Gen Award “Best Renewable Project” for the CSP trough design at FPL’s 75MW integrated solar combined cycle plant near Indiantown in Martin County, Florida.
Gossamer Innovations is located in Huntington Beach, CA and has participated in the CSP industry’s re-emergence. Gossamer currently has 6 major utility-scale CSP plants operating in the US and Spain (over 320MW), not including various demonstration platforms. For 12 years the engineer/founders of Gossamer Space Frames have been exploring the world of technical possibilities looking to create the best answers to meet the fundamental energy needs of mankind without disturbing the environment. Gossamer has created an innovation engine that is deriving and conveying these solutions to present day applications. The founders of Gossamer Innovations are the recipients of numerous patents and awards in their field. For more information visit the website at http://www.gossamersf.com