SolarSteam Pilot System Performance Update

Tuesday was a day of meteorological extremes at our 5kWt pilot system located in Ponoka, AB: The area saw a range of conditions including sun, snow, thunderstorms, and wind speeds up to 48 km/h with wind gusts over 65 km/h.

But amidst this tempest, our innovative enclosed parabolic trough system defied the odds and delivered exceptional results.

Process Temperatures: While traditional systems would have had to throw in the towel due to adverse and unpredictable weather conditions, our system thrived. We achieved a remarkable process temperature target of 99°C—a testament to its robust design and cutting-edge engineering.

How Did We Do It? Our system boasts several key features:

1. Weather-Resistant Enclosure: Shielded from the elements, our system remains operational even during snowfall, high winds, and thunderstorms. The enclosure’s protective materials help ensure consistent performance delivered by a lightweight design.

2. Efficient Concentration and Thermal Energy Storage: The geometry of the collector mirror maximizes the capture and focus of solar radiation, even during cloudy periods. Every available ray of sunlight was concentrated onto the receiver, at times increasing the temperature of the heat transfer fluid by 64°C (ΔT) from one end of the receiver tube to the other. When the sun goes down, thermal energy storage ensures that heat can be consistently delivered.

3. Adaptive Tracking: Our system dynamically adjusts its orientation to track the sun’s position, optimizing energy absorption from sunup to sundown. This allowed us to achieve up to 74% efficiency compared to ideal conditions.

Sustainability Wins: Beyond process temperatures, our solar thermal system contributes to a greener future. By reducing reliance on external energy sources, we’re making strides toward a more sustainable planet.

Stay in the know

By clicking sign up you agree to our Privacy Policy