ZenithSolar has developed a modular and easily scalable high concentration photovoltaic system (HCPV). The core technology is based on a unique, optical design that extracts the maximum energy with minimal 'real estate'. The system aims to provide both high amounts of electricity and high temperatures of useful heat - that can address vertical cogeneration applications. Using widely available materials and processes with a vertical integration production practice, ZenithSolar employs very cost effective mass manufacturing capabilities.
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Expert Collections containing ZenithSolar
Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.
ZenithSolar is included in 1 Expert Collection, including Renewable Energy.
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Latest ZenithSolar News
Mar 31, 2011
With the right concentrator, yes, says ZenithSolar. It will produce 5KW of heat as well. by Michael Kanellos With the right concentrator, yes, says ZenithSolar. It will produce 5KW of heat as well. by Michael Kanellos 26 Seder Boqer, Israel --- It’s like a concentrating solar PV system on growth hormones. ZenithSolar has begun to tout a CPV/solar hot water system that it says will produce over 2 kilowatts of electricity and the equivalent of 5 kilowatts of solar hot water. The system consists of a mirrored dish that concentrates the equivalent of 1,000 suns onto a III-V solar cell, according to David Faiman, director of the National Solar Energy Center and chair of the department of solar energy and environmental physics department at Ben-Gurion University here. The high temperatures created by the solar dish necessitate cooling the solar cell with water instead of with passive metal heat sinks. The water is then run through heat exchangers to provide hot water to an industrial or commercial site. So far, it sounds similar to technology from Cogenra , which has a CPV/solar hot water system based around silicon solar cells. The big difference is that ZenithSolar does everything in Texas-sized dimensions. The concentrating dish covers around 11 square meters of area. The solar cell is not a tiny chip: It measures around 10 centimeters on each side. “It may look like a Stirling engine but the technology is totally different,” Faiman said. In June, the dish can produce around 250 gallons of hot water at 70 degrees Celsius a day. in January, it’s about half that. The system is also easy to maintain. The cells sit on a modular frame and can be slid out. (Editor’s note: the larger size of the cell and tracker also potentially ease some of the problems with trying to track the sun with a medium-sized mirror and a small solar cell. ) ZenithSolar typically will park two dishes together at a site. The company will show off a system in Las Vegas on April 4. It has deals underway in Australia and China. A couple of the systems are running at a kibbutz in Israel. Concentrators have been a zero-billion-dollar industry for some time, but optimism is in full bloom these days. Amonix , which makes a concentrating system built around lenses, recently signed PPAs with Southern California Edison for 28.5 megawatts worth of power. Soitec landed a 150-megawatt project. SolFocus is part of a 300-kilowatt plant in Saudi Arabia. SunPower, which started out in concentrating solar, announced last year that is has developed a concentrator that it will release in the next few years. IS CPV cost-competitive? What is the reliability? Will banks support it? These questions remain unanswered, but the picture is a lot brighter than it was a year ago. A portion of the intellectual property behind ZenithSolar, Amonix and SolFocus came from Faiman’s National Solar Energy Center, which basically consists of a few trailers converted to offices and a big demonstration field with thermal, CPV and PV experiments sponsored by the University and the private sector. (Video, and another story on an upcoming paper from Faiman, are coming soon. ) The CPV renaissance stems from a few factors. For one thing, CPV can help reduce some of the pain the solar industry faces when it comes to the price of passive raw materials. Racking, glass and other non-silicon costs can gobble up a large part of a solar installation budget. Solar modules account for around 50 percent of the cost of a solar system and about half of that total comes from glass and other module manufacturing costs. Balance-of-system costs can run another 40 percent. “The [ZenithSolar] receiver only accounts for five percent of the cost of the system,” he said. At the same time, the technology has improved, while crystalline silicon solar cells have begun to approach the efficiency ceiling. Concentrators further help power providers compensate for the relatively un-dense nature of solar energy. Over the course of a year, a square meter of earth will receive the equivalent of a barrel of oil worth of energy from the sun. Humans use the equivalent of 230 million barrels of oil of energy a day, he said. (Actual oil consumption comes to around 81 million barrels of oil a day, but oil accounts for only one-third of our energy. ) “The sun is one of the weakest forms of energy we know,” said Faiman. Despite his enthusiasm for CPV, Faiman says he is also rooting for thin films and solar thermal. CPV works optimally in hot, isolated areas without much cloud cover. CPV will also require storage. If clouds pass over a standard PV system, power output dims. If clouds pass over a CPV field, the power going to a utility could take a drastic dip. “If CPV were the only solution, we’d have to cover the deserts and build big transmission lines,” he said.
ZenithSolar Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Who are ZenithSolar's competitors?
Competitors of ZenithSolar include Pythagoras Solar, Jem Enterprises, Meridian Deployment Corporation, M V Systems, Anteos and 13 more.
Compare ZenithSolar to Competitors
Quadra Power, established in 2016, is a renewable energy company whose key focus area is solar project construction and development of PV plants, both “on” and “off-grid”. QPI brings an experienced construction management team, with over 200 MW of direct solar power construction projects, together with the business, finance, and engineering experience of its sister company Quadra Solar, which was established in 2007.
The Power-Spar is a high efficiency solar concentrator that can be configured for electricity, heat, cooling and/or lighting solutions. The Power-Spar system consists of a parabolic trough reflector which concentrates the sun's energy onto a modular absorber. The absorber converts the sun's energy to electricity (via high efficiency multi-sun photovoltaic cells), or to heat (via a patented absorption surface) or transports the light to the buildings' interior (via optical cabling). The system is designed for easy integration with heat recovery systems, turbines, thermal based chillers and geo-thermal solutions to maximize the thermal, electrical and lighting outputs. This efficient co-generation yields unprecedented dollar value. Capable of capturing up to 80% of the sun's energy, Power- Spar systems can reduce typical building energy bills by as much as 70%/year!
Pyron Solar, Inc. manufactures The Pyron Solar Triad, a patented and powerful solar concentrator that harnesses the sun's energy with high-energy conversion and unlimited scalability. In developing the HE Optics System, Pyron Solar engineers have overcome some of the most challenging issues affecting the implementation of solar technology on a wide scale, including solar cell heat transfer, wind, shadow and maintenance issues, and, of course, cost considerations.
Meridian Deployment Corporation is a company that received a SBIR Phase I grant for a project entitled: Motion-Free Tracking Solar Concentrator. Their project investigates novel optical element (OE) for Photovoltaic (PV) systems that uses refractive index modulation to steer sunlight. It addresses the fundamental challenge of tracking the motion of the sun while keeping the concentrated light on the target. For decades this has been accomplished electro-mechanically using motors and feedback circuitry to physically move the optics and/or the target so that the device is always aligned with the sun. This project develops a simple, motion-free tracking system that eliminates all the negative aspects of current mechanical trackers. It is suitable for deployment on any PV system by adapting the optical characteristics. The project goals are to optimize design elements of the OE including materials, configuration and manufacturing technique, and building prototypes for testing in both lab and field sites. Phase I will establish a prototype of a motion-free tracking collector and concentrator that will address three interconnected design issues. These are 1) maximizing throughput of the device by eliminating unwanted reflections from various interfaces, 2) maximizing the range of solar incidence angles, and 3) lowering the cost of the finished device for commercialization. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will be to enable widespread adoption of localized solar power generation. This technology solves the inherent complexity of simultaneously realizing mechanical stability under wind and seismic loading, electro-mechanical tracking accuracy, and eliminates high costs associated with mechanical trackers. Phase I of this program will establish technical benchmarks to maximize the steering range and light concentration ratio for a novel motion-free tracking system. New conductive coatings are index-matched to minimize internal reflections that cause loss of light throughput, while lens geometries and other components will be engineered to maximize efficiency of the system. Because the device is low-profile and lightweight, it can be easily installed on existing rooftops without requiring substantial structural reinforcement, making commercial acceptance likely. This motion-free tracking technology has these commercial advantages over existing solar PV systems: simple, inexpensive installation, low profile esthetics, and more efficient solar power generation for commercial and residential installations. In summary, it will generate more electricity from a smaller footprint for lower overall cost.
AOS Solar was started in 2005 to combine the material cost and manufacturing process economics of thin film solar PV with the efficiency and reliability of crystalline silicon solar PV. The company have an initial prototype solar coupon built and tested using technology. nnThe company's key enablers to achieve market traction are the cost and reliability of the company's product. The silicon on glass (SOG) technology the company are developing will enable solar panels costing around $1/watt to manufacture on the company's pilot line, with lower costs as the company ramp up production due to manufacturing efficiencies and learning curve. Solar silicon is an established technology with proven 20+ year life (versus newer thin film technologies). nnToday the company have working coupons at 7.5% efficiency and the company are working to scale up to larger cells with target 9% efficiency in Q-1, 2008. The company's form factor and efficiency limits are based on first generation technology. By scaling the company's manufacturing and improving the company's technology the company expect to achieve 16 - 18% efficiency in a single junction and 22 - 24% efficiency in a double junction module. nnThe company's A round funding will be used to continue development of the company's equipment / process technology in order to manufacture on larger substrates (2.5' x 4' glass) and to design a scaled up manufacturing line (30+MW annual capacity) based on this development.
PhotoVolt, Inc. was founded in 1994 by Bernard Sater, a former NASA Glenn Research Center scientist and inventor, with a vision to enable high intensity photovoltaic ("PV"‚) concentrator systems to achieve lower cost per watt than is possible with conventional photovoltaic technologies. PhotoVolt's cell technology has the potential for making PV power systems economically viable for widespread application and cost competitive with conventional fuels in large-scale global markets. Over the past 14 years, with the support of NASA Glenn Research Center , and the late Dr. Chandra Goradia, a renowned PV researcher at Cleveland State University, with US Department of Energy grants, Mr. Sater successfully proved the promise of his invention and introduced it to the market as a commercial product. In 2007, PhotoVolt management decided to accelerate development of the high intensity concentrator market by forming a new company called GreenField Steam & Electric Co. to develop and commercialize concentrator PV systems utilizing PhotoVolt's cell technology. The new company successfully raised seed money, developed a new concentrator design, made first sales, and secured the IP by filing for many patents. The Company aiming to bring to market a high intensity concentrating PV system named StarGen a solution that is ideally suited to leverage the strengths of the PhotoVolt cell, while delivering "free"‚ thermal energy . This system is designed to make maximum use of off-the-shelf components and materials, holding the promise to produce solar energy at lower price points. In 2008, PhotoVolt, Inc. and GreenField Steam & Electric Co. agreed to merge, becoming GreenField Solar The Company, based near Cleveland Ohio, USA, intends to license its technology in the future. Management is working to raise additional capital to scale up production capacity in 2009 and beyond.
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