The Company’s system uses a concentrating solar dish with mirrors to concentrate the sun’s energy to power a high-efficiency gas turbine engine.
Southwest Solar Technologies Inc. announced an agreement with Burns & McDonnell Engineering to research and test new solar technology at the Southwest Solar Research Park in Phoenix, Arizona. Southwest Solar’s 18-acre, state-of-the-art, secured facility is located just south of Sky Harbor Airport. The focal point of the facility is a 75-foot diameter concentrating solar dish. This dish is the largest commercial solar dish in North America, one of the largest in the world.
“We welcome these fine companies to the Research Park, who join other innovators as we all work to advance the solar energy industry”. Burns & McDonnell is leading a collaboration with Abound Solar, Inc., a leading manufacturer of next-generation, cadmium telluride thin-film photovoltaic modules, Suntech Power Holdings Ltd., the world’s largest producer of photovoltaic modules, and Power-One, Inc., a leading manufacturer of renewable energy and energy-efficient power conversion and management solutions, to install a 3.5kW photovoltaic (PV) test system. Burns & McDonnell provides engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and consulting services to clients throughout the world.
The 3.5 kW installations will consist of three solar arrays configured with test instrumentation with the primary objective to determine the effect of different types and amounts of cooling on the test arrays. Additionally, the arrays will be adjustable so that the effects of varying tilt angles can be tested. Two different types of solar modules, Thin Film and Crystalline Silicon, will be compared to see their performance relative to different ambient conditions. Lastly, long-term performance data will be collected on both the modules and the inverters.
“We welcome these fine companies to the Research Park, who join other innovators as we all work to advance the solar energy industry,” said Brad Forst, CEO of Southwest Solar Technologies.
Southwest Solar is working on renewable energy’s toughest problems: mitigating intermittency, eliminating water use, and reducing the significant capital costs associated with solar energy solutions. The Company’s system uses a concentrating solar dish with mirrors to concentrate the sun’s energy to power a high-efficiency gas turbine engine. This is a unique approach utilizing concentrating solar power (CSP) while using no cooling water, and with the capability of firm power using backup fuel and energy storage. The first solar dish-turbine system is under testing at the Southwest Solar Research Park in Phoenix, Arizona.