Advanced Composites 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
- 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|
SMC is the ideal choice to reduce the effect of thermal expansion
Assuming we assemble the 2400 mm long trough at 20°C and operate at 80°C
Tight tolerances required for reflector geometry
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
Over 12 months of performance data for Bayswater (Vic) and 6 months for S. China has been obtained. Output expectations have been met.
Module under test at Monash University wind tunnel. The module withstood wind speeds of 120 km/h without damage.
Water circuit Watermark approved!
- 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.