Solar concentrating systems offer the hope of being the most cost-
effective method of capturing and utilizing solar energy, but the
fact remains that traditional combustion-based generation of
thermal and electrical energy is still 2-3 times less expensive for the
typical industrial user. Government incentives help to close this
cost gap, as will future cap and trade markets for the CO2 and
other greenhouse gases resulting from competing combustion
processes. Large solar developers base their business models
strongly on the leverage provided by these incentives, but most
industrial companies still make decisions regarding electrical and
thermal energy needs based on simple return on investment
calculations. The recent recession has brought this home, as
companies are compelled to select the most economical thermal
and electrical power generation possible in order to survive. The
public relations advantages of “being green” are difficult to justify
for the typical industrial user in these tough economic times.
Best Cost Concentration
A Better Focus Co. is dedicated to closing the cost gap between
traditional combustion-based power generation and concentrating
solar generation. The first step is to reduce the cost of materials
utilized. Traditional concentrating solar systems have utilized glass
mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight in either a line-focus
trough arrangement, or in a point-focus dish arrangement. Our
patented Vacu -Dish design utilizes reflective film, eliminating the
need for tons of glass substrate. Newly developed reflective films
by ReflecTech Solar and others offer superior performance to
glass mirrors, and have proven to have similar long-term durability
Our "point focus" solar dishes concentrate solar energy from 4'
and 8' diameter dishes to a 4-6" spot that can easily reach
temperatures of over 1000F.
We currently offer a 4' diameter dish for cooking applications, with
a full line of accessories.
Research is on-going for a larger focusing heliostat dish for power
generation applications, with several prototype dishes constructed
and tested. A 4-dish tracking system has been designed, and a 1/4
scale model constructed and tested. Performance data is under
the "Power Dish" tab, as well as two paper presentations of this
design at the American Solar Energy Society.
We are currently looking for a user/partner that has a year-round
need for low pressure steam to participate in the construction of a
full-scale system with 4 x 8' diameter dishes mounted to a fully
automated tracking frame.
An initial patent for the vacu-dish concentrating dish have been
allowed. Patents are pending for the tracking frame design.
4' cooking dish and 8' diameter Thermal Power dish
Pre-shipment QA Testing of 4'
diameter cooking dishes
A Better Focus Co.
Concentrating Solar Dishes
1/4 scale model of proposed 15-20KW Dish/Thermal
(click on "power dishes" link for more details)