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Energy Innovations Sunflower Concentrated Solar Power


Energy Innovations, the same company that released the ray tracker has recently a concentrated photovoltaics (CPV) produce designed for commercial roof tops. The Energy Innovations Sunflower concentrates sunlight similar to a magnifying glass onto highly efficient solar cells. We have discussed these types of products in the past, although the SunFlower is the only CPV product on the market that has received UL certification!

This means soon the SunFlower will qualify for state incentives, which helps the SunFlower a much more sought after CPV product on the market. The SunFlower system not only magnifies the sun onto solar cells to create an extreme output for a low cost, but it also have a built in tracking system to increase the overall efficiency of the system since the tracking system follows the sun through out the entire day. The tracking system is powered by the energy that the SunFlower creates and is compatible with non roof penetrating mounting systems, making the installation easy and more affordable.

As you can see the SunFlower produces more energy through out the course of a day and uses less silicon (the expensive element of the solar panel) thus making the system more cost effective than traditional PV. Since concentrating solar power systems only work in areas with direct rays of sunlight, the systems are most cost effective in areas such as the southwestern us and Hawaii. The light is concentrated 800x onto solar cells that have a 35% efficiency rate!

The first units will ship in early 2009, we’re excited to see some of these units deployed in the real world to see how well they will handle heat, what I don’t see on this product is a heatsink or cooling system, how do you think the SunFlower stays cool when its concentrating the sun 800x?

Author: Deep Patel

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3 Comments

  1. Good question. The best system I’ve seen for that was to use water as a heat sink, which has the added value of creating hot water.

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  2. using water to cool the panel and create hot water is a great concept, killing two birds with one stone. I have seen hybrid solar panels at trade shows although most of these panels are still trying to get UL / CEC listed.

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  3. I agree cooling is an issue and if these panels really are %35 efficient how come the well established solar companies haven’t released a panel of that caliber? (Sun Power boasts %19 on the SPR-315WATT module as a badge of honor)

    I am concerned that the increase of heat will be too enormous to handle with water. Not that I don’t like the idea of heating my pool and powering my home at the same time!

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