Technique Solar Ltd (TSL) was incorporated in 2003 following years of research at RMIT University. The technology breakthrough is the use of a concentrator lens to focus the suns rays onto a Photovoltaic (PV) cell array. This means

  • 75% fewer PV cells are required to produce the same electrical energy as the traditional flat plate array of the same area as the lens
  • The production of electrical energy as well as the collection of heat energy (hot water) from the cells.

The TSP trough concept

Composite Materials Engineering (CME) TSP Module4

The TSP Module

Composite Materials Engineering (CME) TSP Module2

Technical challenges

  • Weight, 10 troughs per module
  • Reduce part count and complexity to give a manufacturable part
  • Differential expansion of copper, aluminium, composite and acrylic over 2400mm
  • Heat loss from trough walls
  • Straightness, ± 2mm over 2400mm
  • Rigidity, withstand 120 km/h winds

Part consolidation led to weight reduction

Composite Materials Engineering (CME) TSP Module1

Concept design

  • 12 part trough & assembly
  • Complex lens extrusion
  • High heat loss through the reflector
  • Complex assembly
  • Target 10* troughs = 80 kg

Final Design

  • Single part trough – NO ASSEMBLY
  • Simple lens extrusion
  • Reduced heat loss by 75%
  • Easy assembly – less variation
  • Actual 10* troughs = 56 kg

Trough Construction

Composite Materials Engineering (CME) TSP Module

SMC is the ideal choice to reduce the effect of thermal expansion

Composite Materials Engineering (CME) TSP Module5

Assuming we assemble the 2400 mm long trough at 20°C and operate at 80°C

Tight tolerances required for reflector geometry

Composite Materials Engineering (CME) TSP Module6

Achieved at CME

  • A zero shrink compound SMC 543/8 made by CME
  • Moulding conditions & shot placement
  • Post moulding shrinkage controls via dedicated jigs & fixtures
  • Dedicated storage racks to eliminate storage distortion


Composite Materials Engineering (CME) TSP Module 7

Over 12 months of performance data for Bayswater (Vic) and 6 months for S. China has been obtained. Output expectations have been met.

Water circuit Watermark approved!
The Future

  • The Contract for 200,000 modules per year signed with a Chinese company.
  • In principle agreement for 34,000 modules for the Victorian market.
  • In principle agreement to manufacture 40,000 modules in India.
  • Daily international and local enquiries.