Prospects for solar energy development

Formulation of the problem

         In recent years, interest in natural and renewable energy sources has been growing in many countries of the world. Improving the technology of converting the natural forces of sunlight and wind into useful energy. First of all, thousands of new materials are created annually to reduce the cost of existing devices. Secondly, world technology, with high oil prices and the desire of the civilized world to clean ecological environment, is constantly being improved.

       The deepening interest in solar and wind energy is not surprising. The potential of the sun is so great that only 0.0125% will be enough to cover all the current energy needs on the planet. In fact, we are dealing with a free, inexhaustible source, absolutely natural and environmentally friendly. The problem is small. Due to the low intensity (only 250 W per square meter), humanity has not learned how to use this energy efficiently. Existing collectors have extremely low efficiency (about 18%) and are forced to occupy gigantic areas at a high cost of materials.

        Recently, the cost of collectors has been decreasing from year to year, and efficiency has been increasing slightly. But, despite the successes in materials science and the search for new ideas, solar energy is still much more expensive than traditional sources.           The need has long been ripe for the creation of fundamentally new devices capable of a quantum leap in the methods of “extraction” of solar energy, the cost of manufacturing and maintenance of solar installations.

         Ever since Archimedes, the properties of lenses have been known to concentrate solar energy at a point, amplifying it, generating high temperatures. In 1973, Sakkas experimentally tested and proved the Archimedean way of fighting an enemy fleet when an ancient Greek scientist set fire to an enemy fleet using giant lenses and focusing solar energy. Saccas claimed that solar imaging could reach temperatures of 280-340 degrees Celsius, and in laboratory conditions and above – up to 390 degrees.

        So, even in Ancient Greece, materials made it possible to enhance and concentrate solar energy, and scientists talked about the practical application of the energy of an inexhaustible source. The idea “lay on the surface” for a couple of thousand years, and only recently, using modern materials, radically new devices began to appear – solar energy concentrators.

        The main problem that hinders the development and widespread use of such concentrators, so far have been their large size and high price, which includes not only the cost of materials, but also the cost of installing equipment and preparing areas for them. Given the above, the new device should differ from the existing ones in the following characteristics:

– based on the principle of concentration of solar energy and the achievement of high temperatures in the concentrator;

– have an efficiency much higher than that of stationary collectors;

– be small in size to reduce the cost of materials and ease of installation;

– be windproof;

– as an additional option – to be mobile and easy to mount in any location.

             To work on the design and manufacture of such a device, a team of scientists from various fields of physics and technical sciences was assembled, involved managers and PR specialists to promote the device to the market, programmers were invited to create software that allows remote control of the operation of this mechanism.

In April 2019, our team created the first prototype of a serial solar concentrator. 

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