BRAND NEW SUN IN ISRAEL
The genius of this concept is not so much in having invented something new as in having put together a variety of elements in a simple, streamlined system. Only real-world installations will prove its practicality and durability, especially because it has moving parts. But the device is modular, manageable – and its 79% efficiency (from combining heat energy and solar electricity) sets the bar pretty high for competing systems.
Distributed Solar Power (Di. S.P.) – Delivering affordable solar energy
Distributed Solar Power Ltd. (Di.S.P.) (Dr. Danny Kaftori, Cofounder/CEO, Professor Abraham Kribus, Cofounder/CTO)
The module. (click to enlarge)
A unique concept in solar energy, a miniature concentrating photovoltaic (MCPV) unit that captures and concentrates the sun’s light and heat to generate electricity.
- The system is in development. A pilot system is under construction.
- It is constructed from inexpensive, off-the-shelf and easy to manufacture components. It is easily transported and assembled.
- The company was founded in 2004.
What a rooftop installation would look like. (click to enlarge)
- Di.S.P. is based in Migdal HaEmek, Israel. Sun is one of the things Israelis know well. The system was developed as a result of work done at Tel Aviv University.
- Di.S.P.’s concept is to have a rooftop filled with the small, durable, easy-to-maintain MCPV units.
- Direct insolation (900 watts/sq meter) is expected to produce 200 watts of solar electricity and 400 watts of thermal power.
- In areas of good insolation like the southwestern US, Spain, Italy, Australia and parts of China the cost could be 79% lower than utility energy prices, about 15 times better than flat panel photovoltaic systems.
- The system has 4 components: (1) a support/tracker system with 2 motors and transmissions for 2-axis tracking of the sun; (2) a glass reflector that concentrates sunlight at a focal point; (3) an array of photovoltaic cells and a heat absorbing plate at the focal point; (4) a control subsystem.
- Di.S.P. produces the highest levels of efficiency possible from solar cells (28-35% with 45% cells expected in 2007) and increases that efficiency to 78% by capturing and transforming the sun’s heat as well.
- The tracking system allows maximum performance throughout the day by keeping the energy at the system’s focal point coming from the most direct possible sun.
- A typical system of 100 MCPV units would require 350 sq meters of roof space and generate 20 kilowatts of solar electricity plus 40 kilowatts of thermal energy.
- Di.S.P. calculates the solar electricity cost to be $1.50 to $1.75/watt and when the thermal energy is factored in the cost comes down to $0.90/watt.
The efficiency over flat plate photovoltaics that comes from combining energies is impressive.
- Kaftori: “I have been involved in solar energy research and product development for over 12 years…I became aware of the adverse environmental impact of the oil economy, global warming, and pollution, and decided to try to do something about it…”
- Kaftori: “…coming from Israel, a sunny country with little other energy resources, has made me aware of the potential and the need…”
- Kaftori” “Di.S.P. can serve most aspects of the solar energy market because it provides two energy products (i.e., electricity and heat) with very high efficiency. It will be very economical…”