Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Technology

Cooma Tower

There are two patents involved with the CSP technology. They include:

Solfast 1 relates to:

  1. A solar collector comprising:
    • a body of graphite in a housing containing a cavity and an aperture that permits solar energy to be directed through the aperture onto a receiver;
    • a receiver in the cavity in contact with the graphite;
    • a protective layer on the surface of the receiver;
    • a heat exchanger partly embedded within the graphite capable of accepting a heat transfer fluid;
    • a layer of insulation around the graphite; and,
    • a gas and/or low pressure atmosphere within the housing.
  2. A spherical solar energy concentrator capable of concentrating solar energy and directing it through the aperture of the Solar Collector onto the receiver. The concentrator may consist of an array of reflectors.
  3. The Solar Collector is mounted on a tower.

Solfast 2 is similar to Solfast 1 except that it includes a toroidal solar energy concentrator rather than one that is spherical.  The toroidal concentrator is significantly more efficient than spherical or parabolic reflectors and is described in greater detail under Heliostats.

Applications for the Solfast Patents

The Solfast Patents are used for the collection and storage of thermal energy from the sun. The stored energy is used to create superheated steam which can be used for the generation of electricity or other commercial purposes. The oil industry uses it for the dilution of underground oil deposits.  The food processing industry uses large volumes of steam for cooking and cleaning purposes.

The modular nature of the technology permits a number of applications in the generation of electricity for:

  1. base load power;
  2. peak demand power;
  3. diesel replacement; and,
  4. private off-takers (behind the meter).

The Solfast Technology consists of a solar thermal receiver (STR) located on top of a 24 metre high tower which is surrounded by up to 100 tracking mirrors (heliostats).  Each STR and heliostat field is referred to as a module. The movement of the heliostats is controlled by a system of hardware and software that tracks the movement of the sun. The heliostats concentrate the sun’s rays on to a solar receiver located within the STR. This heat is stored and later used to create superheated steam and to generate electricity.

The technology is deployed as a combination of the Solfast Patents and other inventions including control systems and heliostats. The number of modules required is dictated by the project’s location and steam or energy output requirement.

The Solastor System

Solastor is a commercial licensee that is currently negotiating projects in Australia, Cyprus, Morocco, Oman and Egypt.

Solastor can deliver the Solastor System, a complete package for project owners wanting to use either the Larkden or Solfast Technologies. The system, using the Solfast Technology, is described in the video below.