DOE to invest $60 million in concentrating solar power technologies

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The DOE said ;ast week that it will be investing $60 million over three years in applied scientific research to advance concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies. Officials say the effort is part of DOE’s SunShot Initiative, a collaborative national effort to reduce the cost of solar energy by 75 percent by the end of the decade. CSP technologies use mirrors to reflect and concentrate the sun’s heat, which can then be used to produce electricity.

Through the latest solicitation, DOE officials say they are looking to support research into technologies that have the potential to dramatically increase efficiency, lower costs, and deliver more reliable performance than existing commercial and near-commercial CSP systems. DOE expects to fund approximately 20 to 22 projects, and encourages industry, universities, and its national laboratories to apply. Pre-applications are due by November 22, and full applications are due by February 7, 2012.

This SunShot CSP opportunity, the DOE says, seeks to develop concepts that could lead to performance breakthroughs, like improving efficiency and temperature ranges, while demonstrating new approaches in the design of collectors, receivers, and power-cycle equipment used in CSP systems. Officials say each of these subsystems is critical to CSP operation: the collectors collect and concentrate the sun’s energy onto the receiver; the receiver accepts and transfers the heat energy to the power cycle; and the power cycle converts the heat energy into electricity. Developing low-cost collectors, high-temperature receivers, and high-efficiency power cycles should lead to subsequent system integration, engineering scale-up, and eventual commercial production for clean electricity generation applications. For more information, click HERE.

Source: 25x’25 Weekly Resource

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