SkyFuel's SkyTrough®DSP (top) compared to the SkyTrough® (middle) and the Nevada Solar One trough (bottom), shown inside a football stadium for scale.
Arvada, Colorado - November 1, 2012: SkyFuel, Inc. has been awarded the second phase of a cost-shared Department of Energy (DOE) contract to develop a low cost parabolic trough system for baseload concentrating solar power (CSP) generation. The new collector features even greater sun concentration than the original SkyTrough®, which already presents a major improvement on traditional glass mirror-based technology. The new collector will operate at higher temperatures, making thermal storage more cost effective for dispatchable electricity production after the sun sets. Most significantly, the SkyTrough®DSP will cut costs by 20% compared to the original high-performance, low-cost SkyTrough®.
The design of SkyTrough®DSP builds on the innovative features pioneered and proven in commercial operation of the SkyTrough® since 2009. Phase One research resulted in a preliminary design of the parabolic trough subsystems, optimized for cost and performance. Phase Two research will produce a detailed design and a full scale single module pilot using molten salt as the heat transfer fluid. Operation with molten salt permits thermal storage at higher temperature, reducing the storage volume and cost.
SkyFuel's Chief Engineering Officer, David White, is bullish on the big collector's prospects. "This next-generation trough design offers manufacturing economies, reduces overall part count, and will be even easier to install. We are very excited about the SkyTrough DSP."
SkyFuel, Inc. designs and manufactures solar thermal power technology for utility-grade electricity generation and industrial applications. Its products include the SkyTrough®, a parabolic trough concentrating solar collector - a breakthrough in cost and constructability resulting from significant design and material innovations.