Central receiver CPV pilot project – Stage 2

Slideshow

  • Mirrors reflecting light into the central receiver

  • Mirrors at the CSPV plant in Newbridge, Victoria

  • Pilot CSPV plant in Newbridge, Victoria

  • Lily D’Ambrosio, Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources; Dr John Lasich, CTO RayGen; Andrea Gaffney, Manager Strategic Communication, ARENA; and Bob Cart, CEO RayGen, officially switch on the plant at Newbridge

This project demonstrated the world’s first pre-commercial pilot of a central receiver system that uses solar photovoltaic (PV) energy conversion.

Lead organisation:
RayGen Resources Pty Ltd
Project partners:
Boeing Spectrolab Inc, Proteus Engineering Group, Able Engineering Pty Ltd, Ceramet Technologies Pty Ltd, Gannawarra Shire Council
Location:
Newbridge, VIC
Technology:
Solar energy
ARENA programme:
Former Australian Solar Institute initiatives and programmes
Start date:
October 2013
Finish date:
May 2015

Need

The combination of high efficiency solar cells with a low cost method of collecting and concentrating sunlight could significantly reduce the cost of solar-based electricity.

Project innovation

This project demonstrated the world’s first pre-commercial pilot of a central receiver system that uses solar photovoltaic (PV) energy conversion.

A 200 kilowatt commercial scale pilot plant was constructed using RayGen’s new central receiver concentrator photovoltaic (CSPV) technology.

The CSPV technology employs an ultra efficient concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) receiver combined with an optimised heliostat collector field (an array of sun-tracking mirrors). In this system the heliostats concentrate sunlight onto the photovoltaic cells in the central receiver, which is located at the top of a mast alongside the heliostat field. By using large arrays of inexpensive mirrors, the CSPV technology can sidestep cost issues facing other solar technologies and therefore significantly reduce the cost of large scale solar energy.

The pilot plant providing performance data that can be used for the development of a commercial scale CSPV unit including efficiency, long term reliability and operations and maintenance data.

Completion of the project has placed RayGen in a position where it has developed and demonstrated the essential CSPV technology, processes and knowledge base to enable a successful commercialisation phase.

Benefit

The project was a key step toward reducing the cost of commercial concentrating solar power to the point where it can compete with traditional carbon-based energy without subsidies.

More information

RayGen – Stage 2 project report (PDF 1.9MB)
Media release – 27 March 2015: First of a kind concentrated solar PV power tower

Contact information

Dr John Lasich, Chief Technology Officer, Raygen Resources Pty Ltd
Phone:
+61 407 525 077
Email:
jbl@raygen.com