Utility Scale

Once solar electricity can compete directly in cost with traditional, carbon-based electricity, the potential market is huge. REhnu’s disruptive technology promises such low cost for directly generated electricity in the daytime.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory map of concentrated solar energy resources

REhnu’s ultimate target market is a future electricity grid powered by renewable energy, with transcontinental transmission lines and large scale energy storage. In this market, we project that the lowest cost power in the daytime will be by direct generation, complemented at night by power from turbines driven by wind and thermally stored solar energy. The most consistent direct solar power in the USA will come from large solar farms operated in the Southwest deserts, operating summer and winter, providing electricity throughout the day (and into the evening on the East Coast). The market is likely to grow to hundreds of gigawatts of direct solar electricity in 20-30 years time.

The solar resource is sufficient to provide all this need, and in fact far larger, with enough to replace all fossil fuel energy. With transcontinental transmission,1% of the total land area of Arizona, California, New Mexico and Nevada could supply all the daytime electrical energy used by the entire U.S. Deserts worldwide have similar solar resources, sufficient to power other continents.

REhnu’s system architecture anticipates growth toward such a very high volume market. Our modules track the sun to maintain high output through the day, aiming directly at the sun even when it is low in the sky. This maximizes output, even in winter and in early mornings and evenings.

Mass production

REhnu’s modules are designed from the ground up to take full advantage of economies of scale when replicated and installed in vast quantities. The manufacturing strategy and processes are optimal for implementation in large, dedicated factories.

Reflector dish manufacture
Like many solar conversion systems, including PV panels and concentrated solar (thermal) power (CSP), REhnu uses low-iron float glass as a transparent and weather-resistant support for the primary collection surface. Float glass, 4mm thick, is made in a 24/7 process in a continuous 3.3 m wide strip at a rate of ~ 1 m²/sec. REhnu’s dish fabrication process is designed for integration into a dedicated float glass factory. The entire factory output will be in the form of 3.1 m square dishes, produced at a rate of one every 11 seconds. Integrated into REhnu’s modules, each square meter of glass will yield 300W of electricity, matching or exceeding the yield of any other system. One year will see production of enough dishes to generate 6 gigawatts of electrical power.

Other large components
The lightweight HSLA steel struts for the reflector supports and the large spaceframe will also be made by well proven mass production methods.

Economical shipping and assembly
REhnu’s fully assembled modules are far too large and lightweight for economical transportation over any distance. They will be thus assembled on-site from densely packed components shipped separately: silvered glass dishes, steel struts, receivers, radiators, etc.