SATELLITE TECHNOLOGY

        Basis of the PYRON SOLAR POWER GENERATOR

 

The PYRON SOLAR POWER GENERATOR is a highly compact fully tracking photovoltaic concentrator based on two key design advantages:

1.      The LAING-technology with its low-profile circular geometry and a novel optical system intercepts

       85% of all sunlight.

2        The BOEING-SPECTROLAB cells, originally developed for satellites, operate at 500 suns generating 1360(!) times the electricity of the most advanced one sun cells of the same size.

 

The PYRON SOLAR POWER SYSTEM comprises advanced photovoltaic concentrators with an optical and mechanical design eminently suitable for low-cost mass production.    

 

Each PYRON platform is based on a wide but shallow (5-6”) round pond with floating banks of solar-tracking modules, which follow the sun’s azimuth by turning around the center of the platform. The modules are topped by Fresnel lenses focusing  500X  sunlight  onto a secondary optic that uniformly distributes energy  onto advanced multi - junction solar cells. Because they are floating on water, the banks of modular tracking assemblies can pivot to always face the sun exactly. 

PYRON SOLAR FARM produces 10,000 kWp, the same amount as SOLAR I on 64 platforms or 8% of the land.

PYRON SOLAR POWER GENERATORS produce on the same land area:

168 (!) times more electricity than the world’s largest solar chimney plant in Spain

  13.1  times more electricity than the world’s largest solar tower plant in Dagget, CA

  10.5  times more electricity than the largest parabolic trough plant (without combustion).

 

  8% of the land area of SOLAR I suffice for the PYRON SOLAR SYSTEM to achieve the same peak power. In addition the PYRON SYSTEM requires only a fraction of the investment per kWp.

OUTDATED TECHNOLOGY

SOLAR I WORLD’S LARGEST SOLAR TOWER PLANT

PYRON SOLAR POWER SYSTEM DESIGN

Existing solar technologies require such large land areas that none of them has a chance to substitute for fossil or nuclear power plants. Further disadvantages are the costly tilting mechanism, and the heavy and costly structures needed to withstand a 100-year wind. In addition, all present photovoltaic concentrators suffer from the high temperature of their air-cooled photovoltaic cells, which reduces their low efficiency even further.

 

Cross-sectional view of the banks of tracking modules, with up to twelve lenses each, floating on water.

 

A PYRON SOLAR POWER PLATFORM is covered with tracking modules of twelve lens-units, each focusing on a high-efficiency multi-junction photovoltaic cell. The modules mount on a circular platform that floats frictionlessly in a shallow pond only 6 inches deep.  This platform revolves like a sundial’s shadow to track the sun (eastward in morning, south at noon, west in afternoon). During the night it turns into the wind so that the water will be cooled to shed its  daily heat load from the cells.  A thin film of specialized evaporation-suppressing oil covers the water surface.

Unlike conventional two-axis solar trackers, the PYRON system never obstructs itself, so that it has an unprecedented land utilization of 85%. This minimizes environmental impacts, especially considering that PYRON’s advanced per-watt solar efficiency (32% at the cell, 23% overall) further reduces land coverage.

 

PHOTO OF A MODULE WITH 5 LENSES

Structural components can be produced on-site and installed with low-cost labor.  Design simplicity ensures reliability and maintainability. Worn parts can be easily replaced; while the expected working life of the structure exceeds 20 years.

 

The narrow groove protruding from the bottom of the module contains the photovoltaic cells, the diodes and electrical connections, heat disperser, and homogenizer optics. This groove remains submerged throughout the tracker’s 24-90° solar-elevation range. This water-cooling is vital for removing the 2/3rds solar energy that does not become electricity. Each module’s hermetically sealed interior airspace has a pressure – equalizing bellows. Elevation tracking is via balancing the water contained in five receptacles mounted on each side of the module. A vacuum system moves the water between the front and back receptacles. The cells convert 32% of their radiant input into electricity. (A cell with 40% conversion is in preparation.) Each cell is mounted under a homogenizing light-guiding rod that maximizes cell efficiency by ensuring a uniform distribution of concentrated sunlight on the cell.

 

 

VACUUM-CONTROLLED TRACKING OF THE SUN’S ELEVATION

Each elevation-tracking module has twelve concentrator lens-cell units (F) floating on water (2). Each platform has only one simple vacuum pump resembling the blower of a vacuum cleaner  that drives  the tilting of the modules. This system replaces the costly mechanical tilting mechanisms used in other two-axis solar trackers. In the early morning (bottom panel) all modules are tilted towards the low sun. Reducing the air pressure in the top chamber (5b) sucks water out of the bottom chamber (5a), reducing its contained water (6) and rolling the modules upward (middle panel) and than to the zenith (top panel). All the modules will roll into the same solar elevation angle so that the concentrator lenses F are always directed exactly into the sun. Between adjacent concentrator lenses F there is only a small working clearance. The configuration of the modules permits a tilting angle down to solar elevation 24°. At all operating elevations the protruding narrow channel C stays below the surface of the water (2) to cool the photovoltaic cells.

 

THE PYRON SOLAR POWER SYSTEM has no inherent sizing constraints, because of the modularity of its circular platforms. In contrast to all thermal solar installations, they can be built to any capacity.

Since the modules are only knee-high, they disturb the wind less than the barest ground.  This boundary-layer effect minimizes dust deposition. Moreover, large desert tracts of such power-farms would actually suppress dust generation. The pond’s shallow water does double-duty as it cools the cells by day, and is cooled in turn at night by wind or natural convection.

Each platform has two sun-finders, one for the solar azimuth

 

 

 

 

 

 

9east to west), the other for solar elevation, tilting up and down on a horizontal axis. The first sun-finder follows the sun until sunset and than returns the platform to the morning position. But if a wind comes up, the platform turns into the wind- controlled by a two-nozzle sensor – to maximize cooling of the water to dissipate the heat of the cells stored during sunshine hours.

INTERSTITIAL AREAS AND SERVICE WAYS

 

The interstitial ground (Z) between the circular platforms, and the service ways (W) amount to only 15% of the land of a PYRON SOLAR FARM, as can be seen from the drawing. As such, 85% of the sunlight hitting the PYRON SOLAR PARK will be intercepted by the lenses and focused onto the photovoltaic cells, at all solar elevations from 24 to 90°.

 

 

 

 

Solar electricity will substitute for fossil electricity                   

PYRON SOLAR POWER PLANTS produce 10 times more electricity per square meter of ground surface than the famous solar power plants at Daggett, California. The capital investment for a large PYRON SOLAR POWER FARM would be about 50% higher than that for a coal-fired power plant of the same annual output, but of course its ‘fuel’ is free1. This makes the PYRON SOLAR POWER SYSTEM suitable to replace thermal power plants, when combined with proprietary PYRON energy storage2. Based on a yearly solar resource of 2,700 kWh/m2, typical of the Mojave Desert, a square-mile PYRON SOLAR POWER FARM would produce 1.3 billion kWh/yr; the annual electricity consumption of 352,000 residents. In some parts of Mexico, and lands closer to the equator, the yield per square mile can be even higher. The high yield, low cost and low maintenance for this solar electricity design will dramatically improve our energy future.

The regions in red or orange can support truly economic solar electricity production for the U.S.

 

 

    A GROUP OF SOLAR MODULES

 

The PYRON SOLAR POWER SYSTEM

achieves its high yield by combining the best land use factor with Satellite-developed  photovoltaic cells. According to ‘VDI-Report 1200’, conventional solar-tower power plants have a land use factor (G) of 0.18. The solar electricity achievable from given area G has to be multiplied by system efficiency hA.  For the tower -design of Solar I (Daggett CA) with an hA of 8.5%, this results in an electricity yield of 0.18 x 0.085  or 15W per m2 of land. In startling contrast, a PYRON SOLAR POWER PLANT has a G of 0.8523 and an hA  of 23.5% giving 0.8523 x 0.235 =  200 W/m2, which is 13 times better than Solar I (not operating today), the largest solar thermal power plant yet built.

 

How much land is needed per person?

The high yield of a PYRON SOLAR POWER PLANT suggests an interesting comparison: Each resident of the United States uses on average 3,680 kWh of electricity per year. With an annual solar resource of 2,700 kWh/m2, a PYRON SOLAR POWER FARM needs only 7.4 m2 per person, in stark contrast to the 3,000 m2 of agricultural land per person. This means that electricity requires only a third of a percent of the land needed for the production of his food, and non-arable desert at that. Truly an Earth-friendly electricity system, based on 21st-century technology that is ready to sustainably power whole nations or even the entire planet.

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PYRON, INC, 1253 LA JOLLA RANCHO ROAD, LA JOLLA, CA 92037, Tel.(858) 454-6371

Fax (858) 454-7198; e-mail [email protected]

1 if price for fuel is $31.3/MW                 2 energy storage description confidentially available for potential investors