ADVANCED UTILITY-SCALE SOLAR THERMAL PARABOLIC TROUGH CONCENTRATOR
On May 11, 2005, Industrial Solar Technology Corporation (IST) conducted a program kick-off meeting at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for a Department of Energy contract to design a new large aperture parabolic trough concentrator for the electric power market. Given its 22-year experience in design, manufacture and operation of commercial parabolic trough solar systems, Industrial Solar is well positioned to carry the development program. It is one of very few companies world-wide that has manufactured parabolic troughs for commercial projects in the last decade.
Ken May, President of IST, announced that his technology development team will go beyond enlarging IST's workhorse PT-1 parabolic trough concentrator for the power market. Drawing on its highly successful patented space frame design, the new trough will be more structurally robust and require nearly 50% less material per square meter than the large LS-2 and LS-3 troughs Luz International deployed in 350 megawatts of solar electric power plants in the 1980s in California.. The concentrator module to be developed could have a mirrored reflector as large as 39 feet long and 14 feet wide and IST's program promises to deliver a concentrator module that should cost less than $100 per square meter.
Under direction of Ken May, the IST team includes Jim Harris of JR Harris Company, Denver, Colorado, who will lead structural analysis tasks, and Dr. Barry Butler of Butler Sun Solutions, Sonoma Beach, California, who will contribute structural analysis support and glass mirror technology expertise gained from his leadership of the dish and heliostat programs. Mr. Ben Auslaender, Morrison, Colorado, will consult on Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA) techniques and consulting mechanical engineer Doug Werner, Douglas Engineering, Westminster, Colorado, will assist on the design of the mechanical tracking system for the focal point drive. Carlo La Porta, President of Capital Sun Group, Ltd, Cabin John, Maryland, will assist IST with management and economic analysis.
In close cooperation with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the IST team will introduce a new approach that addresses major drawbacks of current parabolic trough technology designs that limit the potential for cost reductions, keeps O&M costs high and maintains large dependency on foreign suppliers of components. IST's endeavor also ensures that all the major components of the large trough, except for high temperature receivers, will be manufactured by US corporations, one of the key goals of the U.S. Department of Energy Concentrating Solar Program solicitation The NREL technical monitor for the IST program is Russell Forristall.