Category Archives: asia

Company on the Focus

Company on the Focus

*every month the CleanEnergyBlogger Steering committee will choose one or two  interesting company which will be selected out of a list created by the CleanEnergyBlogger team, plus companies that have announced a significant achievement during the month, plus companies that have approached the CleanEnergyBlogger with a brief presentation that has intrigued us to share it with our readers. We realize this is an arbitrary – definitely not a scientific selection – but it is being selected by professionals*

You are invited to propose Companies via the following email:

company@ags-tech.com

and refer to the following criteria:

Criteria One: the soundness, technical merit of its technology

Criteria Two: the qualifications of its team

Criteria Three: the potential of the company to become No. One in its field, OR: the

                        potential for commercial applications and the ability to

                       commercialize the technology (in case it is yet in an early stage).

Company on the Focus: SkyFuel

A short while ago SkyFuel revealed their reflector technology, based on mirror film instead of the conventional glass mirrors – the ReflecTech™. As solar towers, dishes and other solar thermal technology solutions for electricity production, rather than parabolic troughs – are not in commercial stage yet – the importance of developing cheaper, but not less efficient and stable solutions for the trough based technology – is crucial. . SkyFuel solution really looks promising and could be a significant step towards reducing production costs, mainly due to lighter support frame required (much less material and faster assembly process) and reduction in trough replacement costs.  The ReflecTech™ mirror film is a silver-based metallized polymer film reflector, which was developed by NREL. SF is laminating the ReflecTech™ to an aluminum substrate to form a rigid reflective surface, and has designed an aluminum space frame to support the reflector, as well as control, drive and tracking system.

As much as we think that the ReflecTech is unique and contributes to lower production and installation costs and lower O&M costs of the solar field (although not necessarily higher efficiencies, durability, availability and performance), the space frame and the tracking system – are not something that others cannot do (or already doing).  The space frame, as opposed to a torque-tube, that is still being used by Solel and was in use by LUZ – is naturally lighter (we may guess 30% less from the 10 Tonns required for the metal support structure of a similar glass mirror) and it was designed for erection in the field, inorder to obtain the required optical performance of the trough.. Also their solar tracking system enjoys some advantages comparing to the systems used in SEGS, probably with lower costs and increased precision, but we have to remember that their competitors have also developed enhanced tracking systems. We assume that SF does not enjoy any performance advantage in this respect, beside its ability to design the tracking system in-house and probably with lower costs.

SF did not reveal (yet?) performance tests based on the 6 years experience of the ReflecTech operating in the Mojave Desert under changing daily conditions and different operation modes, as well as the accelerated weather testing. However, unless we receive something conclusive that contradict this, we may assume that at the best scenario SF solar field will have similar thermal output (although probably worthier durability) compared to existing reflectors, but we have to remember that they are using non-breakable reflector design (is it rigid enough for the long run – should be seen); predicted lower O&M costs, faster assembly process and may enjoy significant cost reduction in the support structure and reflectors. And not less important: It seems that SF has supporting staff to enable them to carry out the work of designing a solar field, supervising the construction of it and train the operation staff.

Company of this month: CONCENTRIX

 

 Concentrix Solar is a spin-off of Fraunhofer (a very famous institute in Germany). It has  received its first financing already in 2005 from Good Energies, an investment company in the solar photovoltaics industry. (Good Energies invested also in other companies like Q-Cells).

Concentrix’s basic technologies differ as well as their research partners, and management team.

 

Concentrix has already begun delivering demonstration modules to strategic partners – like Abengoa, that has invested in the co-operation, which was started a few months ago. Lately they have announced that during the measurement period in May 2008, AC system efficiencies of 23% were achieved, and higher were measured under normal operating conditions for a demonstration system located at the test site of Abengoa Solar in Seville, Spain.

 

Concentrix is now constructing a 25 MW production line in Freiburg, Germany, and plans to start operations in Fall 2008.

 

Concentrix is using Fresnel lens, but inorder to avoid the disadvantages of the plastic made Fresnel, they use their unique FLATCON® (Fresnel Lens All-glass Tandem cell Concentrator) technology; where the Fresnel lenses are fabricated in a silicone film on the inside of the module top glass plate, and the entire module housing is also made of glass to avoid thermal mismatch with the different materials.

 

One of the technology disadvantages: Concentrix has less wider acceptance angle (of 0.6° comparing to SolFocus +/-1°, for example);  the meaning is that their tracking systems should be more accurate and more expensive. Also, Concentrix has more conservative plans to achieve a module cost of €1.23 per Watt at 20MWp production levels and fully installed costs, including the inverter, tracker hardware, and installation, of €2.35 per Watt. (~3.75USD),

 

**However, the CleanEnergyBlogger team prefers these conservative assumptions rather than others that claim to achieve in mass production 2USD per watt

 

Concentrix is targeting large solar electric installations of commercial, industrial, and power station scale. While others are more optimistic about the application of their products outside the sunlight rich areas, we like the conservatism of Concentrix that say that their FLATCON modules will only be competitive in locations such as southern Europe, North Africa, or the American southwest.**

 

2 responses to “Company on the Focus

  1. Special Offer for Participating in the
    One World Common Future Exhibition and International Conference
    Cairo – Arab Republic of Egypt
    During the period 15, 16 and 17 of October 2008
    At Cairo International Centre for International Conferences

    Persons in Charge: Heads of the Company’s Board of Directors,

    Greetings:

    We are honoured to invite you to participate in the One World Common Future Exhibition and International Conference.

    Egypt places more emphasis on the future and the world, for upgrading the Arab, African and developing countries to catch up with the world.

    Because of the dangerous rise in petrol and energy prices, the world has started to pay attention 1to generating energy form agricultural yields. However, this has resulted in direct negative effects on food prices and subsequent serious effects on the developing countries.

    Mr. Hosni Mubarak, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, launched an appeal for discontinuing the process of generating energy from agricultural yields, because of its negative effects on food prices and poor countries.

    He has called for utilising alternative renewable sources of energy including nuclear energy, used for peaceful purposes. He also has called for starting a new phase of reform that aims at developing Egypt and the countries of the region.

    Therefore, we had to give priority to renewable sources of energy, generated form natural resources and to make use of them, since they are numerous and renewable as solar energy, the wind, sea waves energies as well as the peaceful nuclear energy.

    Today in the One World Common Future Exhibition and International Conference, we call for the participation of all the countries, factories and companies that are concerned with this field in order to exhibit the latest technology, used in this field. We also call them to market this technology in the Arab, African and Middle East countries, so that the world can obtain a clean and safe energy.

    The One World Common Future Exhibition and International Conference is regarded as the biggest international event, held in the Middle East. It is the first in its type and the most important event for the year 2008.

    Now, Egypt and all the Arab countries as well as the majority of the world countries are greatly concerned with establishing major projects in wide deserts, and expanding the development projects in the Arab and Middle East countries.

  2. Special Offer for Participating in the
    One World Common Future Exhibition and International Conference
    Cairo – Arab Republic of Egypt
    During the period 15, 16 and 17 of October 2008
    At Cairo International Centre for International Conferences

    Persons in Charge: Heads of the Company’s Board of Directors,

    Greetings:

    We are honoured to invite you to participate in the One World Common Future Exhibition and International Conference.

    Egypt places more emphasis on the future and the world, for upgrading the Arab, African and developing countries to catch up with the world.

    Because of the dangerous rise in petrol and energy prices, the world has started to pay attention 1to generating energy form agricultural yields. However, this has resulted in direct negative effects on food prices and subsequent serious effects on the developing countries.

About

About

The goal of  this blog is to establish an alternative energy forum that will be a meeting place for a spectrum of opinions from a wide range of relevant experts. Policymakers, market analysts, energy experts and anyone interested in understanding and following trends in the energy business should contribute to this blog and find it extremely useful.

The rapid pace of change in the energy market means that documented forecasts are becoming outdated very quickly, hence there is a need for an efficient, convenient place where experts could analyze and discuss new issues affecting the energy industry and present their updated thoughts and forecasts that goes beyond the traditional short-term market analysis.

This blog is an “energy-global-center” that will deal with a broad range of energy issues. From strategic issues, like the following:

– To evaluate what role will OPEC play in global oil production 5 or 10 years from now?

– Everyone is aware of the need to replace the consumption of oil. But no government is really doing anything meaningful about it. Why?

Are they afraid from the global oil companies? Don’t they have the resources? Don’t they know where to put the main efforts?

Through technological issues, like:

– Sorting out energy alternatives candidates to replace or at least mitigate consumption of oil, and mapping all serious oil-alternative with respect to their distance from service maturity.

– To estimate when oil production will peak. If we hit the peak quite soon, as some very credible experts claim, then Hydrogen and other early-stage technologies are too far off to make it on time.  If peak-oil is two or three decades away then we do have time for embryonic technologies.

– To ask a wide range of experts to express their opinion on the chances that a specific scenario to develop a specific solution with specific resources (time table etc.) – will be fulfilled. To evaluate when and where specific alternative energy technology could become profitable.

– To deal with specific technological issues, like: materials for energy conversion, energy storage, lightweight materials, clean combustion, alternative fuels, wind, solar, power distribution and transport. Will biofuels become an important part of the energy market? Etc.

2 responses to “About

  1. I’m writing from KQED Public Broadcasting in San Francisco – We recently did a radio story on The Geysers geothermal field in Sonoma County for QUEST – our multimedia series on environment, science and nature.

    We thought your readers might find this story to be a good background resource on geothermal energy – it’s posted in its entirely online.

    Listen to Geothermal Heats Up:
    http://www.kqed.org/quest/radio/view/641

    Thanks, and let me know if you have any questions.

    -Janelle Marker
    Content Intern, Quest
    KQED, Northern California Public Broadcasting
    2601 Mariposa Street
    San Francisco, CA 94110
    E: jmarker@kqed.org
    Web: http://www.kqed.org/quest

  2. Nice work, Amnon,
    Another great source of energy and climate change info is:
    http://www.setenergy.org

    Our daily blog keeps track of major developments in the US and beyond as our world moves forward in a sustainable energy transition.

    Onwards,
    Dennis