Advanced Composites in Solar

Advanced Composite in Solar

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


The TSP Module


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


Concept design Final Design
12 part trough & assembly Single part trough - NO ASSEMBLY
Complex lens extrusion Simple lens extrusion
High heat loss through reflector Reduced heat loss by 75%
Complex assembly Easy assembly – less variation
Target 10* troughs = 80 kg Actual 10* troughs = 56 kg

Trough Construction


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

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

Tight tolerances required for reflector geometry

TSP-tollerances 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


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


TSP-wind Module under test at Monash University wind tunnel. The module withstood wind speeds of 120 km/h without damage.

Water circuit Watermark approved!

The Future

  • 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.