Gossamer Upgraded Solar Troughs: Better Performance and Lower Cost for CSP Installations
Gossamer Space Frames exhibited their trough frames used for Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) at the 2009 Solar Power International Conference. The demonstrated model is a step-change improvement over the company's center drives and results in better performance and less cost for CSP installations. In addition, Gossamer Space Frames introduced a panelized, thin-film reflector design that is expected to provide improved performance at wider aperture - thin-film technology from 3M. This product is a great option for large utility scale operations. We interviewed Glen Reynolds, from Gossamer Space Frames. Watch the video interview above to see Gossamer's trough frame in action as well as hear what Glen had to say.
Some information about Gossamer's trough frame technology:
- Gossamer's patented Organic Connector structural technology frees designers and engineers from many of the conventional limitations in double-layer grid space frames, which are three dimensional structures with advantageous load distribution properties.
- Use 30% less aluminum, producing a 30% reduction in frame weight, thereby lowering material, shipping and assembly costs
- Use 35% fewer components overall
- Use 80% fewer fasteners
- 1/3 the time in field assembly compared to similar alternatives
- Provide exceptional frame rigidity at all angles of elevation
- Eliminate the need to field align the frames and mirrors
- Allow the mirrors to achieve a focusing accuracy of 37% better than competitors' designs, thereby achieving higher energy production rates
- Least expensive to fabricate and assemble, thereby directly contributing to a lower levelized cost of energy
Mirror trough frames designed and engineered by Gossamer (and using Gossamer's patented Organic Connector technology) were successfully deployed beginning in 2006 at Acciona Solar Power's pioneering Nevada Solar One project, a 64 megawatt concentrated solar power (CSP) installation. Nevada Solar One utilizes more than 9,000 mirror trough frames designed and engineered by Gossamer.
What is Concentrated Solar Power? Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. The concentrated heat is then used as a heat source for a conventional power plant. A wide range of concentrating technologies exists; the most developed are the parabolic trough, the concentrating linear fresnel reflector, the Stirling dish and the solar power tower. Various techniques are used to track the Sun and focus light. In all of these systems a working fluid is heated by the concentrated sunlight, and is then used for power generation or energy storage. [Read More about Concentrated Solar Power]