- Uses mirrors for inexpensive sunlight collection. REhnu’s glass mirrors are made of inexpensive glass, by methods similar to those proven in high-volume manufacture of trough mirrors. Reflectivity stays high for > 25 years, shown by trough plants.
- Smartest use of PV materials. The total area of multi-junction PV cells required at the mirror focus is a 1,000th that required for silicon flat panels yielding the same power. This results in overall cost of PV material a fraction of that for silicon panels.
- Twice the sunlight to electricity conversion efficiency of the best PV panels. REhnu uses commercial multi-junction PV cells with 42% efficiency, compared to 21% efficiency for the best silicon panels.
- Electricity and heat. REhnu’s mirror module generates 800W of electricity and also 1200W of heat. By comparison, a standard-size PV module is 60% the size but generates only 1/3 the electrical output and no usable heat.
- 40-year plant lifetime, with efficiency increasing over time. Multi-junction cells are being made more efficient all the time. Because REhnu uses them in small, inexpensive and replaceable units, the next generation of cells can be easily and economically swapped in, thus increasing efficiency over extended lifetime.
- Both thermal and electrical power. The heat generated in the PV cells is not wasted, as in nearly all other PV systems, but is captured by a heat transfer fluid, and can be provided as additional thermal power output.
- Quick scale-up in production without expensive new facilities. The design and manufacturing methods are configured to take advantage of existing high-volume PV cell, mirror, and tracker production facilities. The company is thus staged for rapid growth to reach the economies of scale of high-volume solar power.
- More electricity for the same land or rooftop area as conventional solar. No cooling water or blading of the land required.
Bottom line: REhnu’s technology is poised to make solar electricity at lower cost than any other solar method, including conventional flat-panel PV generation, and to compete directly with fossil fuel.