Research Project Summary Information
Feasibility study for a residential tracking solar dish (22901)
Without subsidies, solar thermal (ST) equipment is currently difficult to economically justify in New York State because it takes too long for the benefits to equal costs. For a given size, a proposed solar system by Equity Power can harvest approximately twice the usable energy as any conventional solar approach. This new design has the potential to be configured so a large dish collector delivers 800 kilowatts of thermal energy, generates 300 kilowatts of electric power, or a combination of both. A smaller version of such a system could deliver four benefits to homes: hot water, space heating, electric power, and air conditioning. The capability critical to success is use of solar thermal energy to provide air conditioning via an off-the-shelf desiccant air-conditioning module. This feature will allow greater benefits from the system through the increased use of sunlight harvested during summer months.
An additional innovation is the tracking system structure used. The tracking structure is unique because it can be raised and lowered without heavy equipment, either during construction or maintenance and cleaning. The tracking structure also can use motors one-tenth the size required by single pedestal solar dishes, and yet it is still able to handle high wind loads.
Equity Power will investigate viable configurations for a new ST technology that can both reduce the major cost hurdle for such equipment in New York and substantially increase delivered benefits. This work will include validation of the performance of a 6m2 prototype solar dish under construction. A desiccant wheel air-conditioning system will be purchased or designed (and fabricated if necessary) for testing with the existing system. Two plumbing options and a thermal storage system will be designed and tested for typical early residential projects. A design for a commercial dish system shall be developed.
Equity Power estimates that a commercial dish system in a residential home could provide over 40 million Btus of heat (approximately half a home’s heating requirement), over 2,200 kWh of electricity, and 42 million Btus of cooling.
18 Joseph St. Ext.
Troy, NY 12180
Energy Power Supply
Solar Thermal Electric
NYSERDA Contact Information
R&D - Buildings Research