It seems like there’s a new, cutting-edge technology in the limelight everyday and today is no exception.  You’ve heard of CSP — concentrated solar power, right?  Well Sopogy has been in R&D for several years perfecting their MicroCSP technology.  They developed the above pictured application for commercial, industrial, and small utility uses.  MicroCSP takes traditional, large scale, open faced, desert, parabolic trough CSP panels and shrinks them down to 25% of the size.  The trough is between 12 and 18 feet long and is meant for distributed energy solutions from 200 kW to 20 MW.  It can be used on-site, too, whether on a roof or adjacent to a building. 

In converting sunlight to electricity, Sopogy’s newest solution, the SopaNova 4.0, is between 20 and 30% efficient.  As reported by CNET, Darren Kimura said, "On a cost per watt, we’re cheaper than [photovoltaics] … but that’s not what really matters.  We can do more production.  We actually get more sun energy every day."

SopaNova 4.0 uses the trough to focus solar power onto a focal point where heat transfer fluid is located.  The heat transfer fluid passes through a series of MicroCSPs, the array, and creates solar process heat.  This heat, in turn, enables electrical turbines, absorption air conditioning, and steam creation.

Microcsp_2 Microcsp2_2

It’s going to be interesting to see these in the built environment.  Via CNET.