Very efficient use of photovoltaic material
REhnu’s system uses triple-junction PV cells with twice the light-to-electricity efficiency of silicon PV panels. The cells cost several times less than silicon panels, per unit of power output, because the sunlight is concentrated 1,000 times, and thus less than 1/1000 the area of photovoltaic material is needed.
Simple, low-cost light collection
REhnu’s large, single-piece point-focus reflectors to collect and concentrate sunlight are optimized for rapid manufacture in mass production, and thus promise the lowest manufacturing cost per watt of highly concentrated sunlight.
Compact cell packaging
REhnu’s small prototype receiver packs 36 triple-junction cells into a small (0.002 m3), high-power (2.7 kW) receiver. Cells will be packaged into small receivers using high-volume electronics manufacturing methods, with no need for large, specialized factories.
40 year plant lifetime with increasing power output
Because REhnu’s receivers are small, they can readily be removed and upgraded when future cells have even higher conversion efficiency than they do today. Such replacements will be used to extend plant lifetime up to 40 years. By contrast, conventional triple-junction cells are packaged into large modules that include individual optical concentrators, making the packages both complex and very much larger for the same power, and making replacement uneconomical.
Highly optimized for low-cost manufacture and on-site assembly
REhnu’s glass reflectors, steel components, and receivers will all be separately manufactured and shipped to the site in densely packed containers. On-site assembly and deployment of the low-density (large and lightweight) generator units will use highly mechanized equipment.
REhnu’s solar farms require no cooling water, little aluminum and the minimum amount of land for given output, each acre yielding over 500,000 kWh per year. The payback time for all energy and CO2 used in manufacture, transportation, and installation is no more than 2 years of an expected lifetime of 40 years.
More energy per watt and per square meter of reflector
REhnu’s reflectors always point directly at the sun. Compared to trough and power tower thermal systems that use similar reflector systems, through the year they will generate approximately twice as much marketable electrical energy per unit area of reflector.
REhnu’s comprehensive new concept comes from the University of Arizona. REhnu’s engineering team will continue to benefit from the University’s world leadership in design and manufacture of opto-mechanical systems.