• 4 minutes Pompeo: Aramco Attacks Are An "Act Of War" By Iran
  • 7 minutes Who Really Benefits From The "Iran Attacked Saudi Arabia" Narrative?
  • 11 minutes Trump Will Win In 2020
  • 15 minutes Experts review Saudi damage photos. Say Said is need to do a lot of explaining.
  • 12 hours Iran Vows Major War Even If US Conducts "Limited Strikes"
  • 10 hours Europe: The Cracks Are Beginning To Show
  • 8 mins Hong Kong protesters appeal to Trump for support.
  • 4 mins Ethanol, the Perfect Home Remedy for A Saudi Oil Fever
  • 12 hours Memorize date 05/15/2018 cause Huawei ban is the most important single event in world history after 9/11/2001.
  • 1 hour Millennials: A boil on the butt of the work ethic
  • 7 hours Ban Fracking? What in the World Are Democrats Thinking?
  • 57 mins A little something for all you Offshore swabbies
  • 12 hours LA Times: Vote Trump out in 2020 to Prevent Climate Apocalypse
  • 10 hours When Trying To Be Objective About Ethanol, Don't Include Big Oil Lies To Balance The Argument
  • 12 mins US and China are already in a full economic war and this battle for global hegemony is a little bit frightening
  • 2 hours Shale profitability
  • 3 hours Saudi State-of-Art Defense System looking the wrong way. MBS must fire Defense Minister. Oh, MBS is Defense Minister. Forget about it.
  • 20 hours Yawn... Parliament Poised to Force Brexit Delay Until Jan. 31
  • 7 hours Let's shut down dissent like The Conversation in Australia
Alt Text

Tesla Starts Price War In Solar Panel Market

Tesla will cut the prices…

Alt Text

Should Tesla Give Up On Solar?

Tesla’s new solar installations dropped…

Green Futures

Green Futures

This article originally appeared in Green Futures magazine. Green Futures is the leading international magazine on environmental solutions and sustainable futures, published by Forum for…

More Info

Premium Content

IBM Develops Solar System to Concentrate the Sun’s Rays 2000 Times

High concentration photovoltaic thermal system harnesses the power of 2,000 suns.

IBM researchers in Switzerland have designed a high concentration photovoltaic thermal system (HCPVT) that concentrates solar radiation by a factor of 2,000, and converts 75% into usable energy. A parabolic reflector tracks the sun and focuses its rays onto an array of triple-junction photovoltaic chips. To prevent them melting, the array uses microchannel water-cooling, a technique also used in high-performance computers, which circulates the coolant to within a few tens of micrometres of the chips.

The array holds hundreds of 1cm2 standard commercial chips, each generating 50W of electricity – a 30% solar energy conversion rate. (Without concentrated sunlight, each chip would generate just 25 milliwatts.) The system’s energy conversion rate is boosted to over 75% by using the coolant’s waste heat to power desalination or air-cooling units. Currently, the best conversion rate for concentration photovoltaic systems is around 60%.

Related Article: The Evolving Efficiency of Photovoltaic Solar Panels

Dr Bruno Michel of IBM Research in Zurich expects their 100m2 dish prototype system to be ready in three years. “Our design, which uses concrete and pressurised metal foil instead of steel and glass, reduces the reflector’s costs by about two-thirds”, he says, “and we estimate the system will produce electricity for roughly $0.1/kWh over the plant’s lifetime – similar to the cost of electricity produced by coal fired plants.” A prototype is currently being tested at IBM Research in Zurich, and the concrete structures and high-tech components for two more will also be built in Switzerland.

IBM is collaborating on the project with Airlight Energy, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and the NTB Interstate University of Applied Sciences. The Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation has awarded the project a three-year $2.4 million grant.

“This cogeneration solar project is challenging and ambitious”, says Dr Andreas Bett of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Freiburg, Germany. “It promises practical, highly efficient solar radiation conversion systems in the foreseeable future.”

By. John Fencer




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage



Leave a comment
  • Joseph A Olson on July 04 2013 said:
    There is no free lunch, even from the Sun. Photovoltaics operate by molecular erosion, a one-time, one-way process that is NOT sustainable. Increasing output by 2000 times only reduces the service lie by 2000 times. See "Green Prince of Darkness" at FauxScienceSlayer(dot)com.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play