New Fresnel Solar Lens
Remember as a kid playing with a magnifying glass and burning paper etc. using only the sun? A US company is using the same basic idea of a very large magnifying glass to generate power from the sun. Only difference is in the type of magnifying glass being used.
IAS (international Automated Systems) claim to have developed a (sort of) new solar technology. They also claim to be the first company to offer the possibility of competing head-to-head with fossil fuels for power production. They also claim that their current development systems already beats the World Government's goal for solar power cost per kilowatt by the year 2020.
The actual idea is anything but new. What is new is the type of lens which is a segmented thin-film very large Fresnel lens. This huge lens focuses the sun's energy, in the same way as a little toy magnifying glass. It is capable of producing super-heated steam for power generation.
The lenses are inexpensive, efficient, and require virtually no maintenance, (except cleaning I guess) ( the tracking gear would also need a bit of oiling from time to time ;-) ). More typical solar reflectors are quite expensive and require a good deal of maintenance. Once installed, IAS lenses need no further adjustment – so they say!
These Fresnel lenses can be run out really quickly from a manufacturing production unit. Nearly one megawatt of IAS solar panels were manufactured in a short 24-hour run, according to the company publicity blurb.
I guess the breakthrough is that the IAS solar lens can be produced at a tiny fraction of the cost of photovoltaic solar panels on a watt for watt basis.
I hope it is not just another investment magnet. We will wait and see how it pans out in the next year or two.
Have a look at their web site: