By Patrick O’Grady for Phoenix Business Journal
Southwest Solar Technologies is taking a step toward production of solar dish mirrors and designing a way to cut the costs in the process.
The company has released a patent-pending design for facets on a mirror and also is working on a proprietary mirror measuring system. Combined, the two would make it possible to manufacture mirror components and drive down costs for mass production, said Brad Forst, the Phoenix-based company’s CEO.
Southwest Solar has been working on a solar dish on a plot of land just off Interstate 10 near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The dish, powered by an engine developed by Hampton, N.H.-based Brayton Energy LLC, is designed to focus the sun’s rays on the engine that will then produce power.
Concentrated photovoltaic (CPV), the kind of solar power that Southwest Solar is focusing on, is one of the different technologies competing for utility-scale operations. It has been pushed aside recently by photovoltaic power because of the large drop in costs for that equipment over the past two years.
Forst said the company believes their technology can be cost-competitive with photovoltaics as manufacturing advances are made.
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