PROJECT PROFILE: Hyperlight Energy (CSP: COLLECTS)

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Project Name: Low-Cost Concentrated Solar Power Collector
Funding Opportunity: CSP: COLLECTS
SunShot Subprogram: CSP
Location: La Jolla, CA
SunShot Award Amount: $1,483,299
Awardee Cost Share: $1,540,256

Hyperlight Energy will demonstrate, at large scale, the performance of its linear Fresnel reflector CSP collector, which captures the sun's energy with large mirrors that reflect and focus the sunlight onto a linear receiver tube. Hyperlight uses lightweight, low-cost materials to hold mirror surfaces in position. The primary bearing surface is a waterbed enclosed on four sides by low profile walls and the bottom of the waterbed is a commodity pond liner.

Approach

This research team will manufacture collectors using recyclable, 30-year outdoor plastics instead of the expensive concrete and steel support structures that are currently used. A pilot production line will be developed for this technology, along with a one-megawatt demonstration project at San Diego State University’s Center for Sustainable Energy.

Innovation

Hyperlight’s plastic collector technology consists of pre-fabricated components that can be assembled on-site for quick installation, which eliminates the need for costly concrete and steel construction and will significantly lower costs. The development of this technology is enabled by the use of high-throughput, high-precision plastic extrusion. Plastic extruder equipment produces plastic at the rate of several feet per minute, allowing for mass-manufacturing. Hyperlight’s technology aims to be the lowest-cost CSP collector in the world.