Southwest Solar Technologies announced recently they have commissioned the largest commercial solar dish in North America. Spanning 75ft in diamater, the solar dish is more than twice the size of other commercial dishes. With a collection area of about 320 square meters, Southwest Solar is hoping the new system will generate three times the power of most solar dishes.
The increased size of the dish comes as part of a partnership between Southwest Solar and Brayton Energy. The two companies are working together hoping to optimize Southwest Solar’s dish technology with Brayton Energy’s SolarCat turbogenerator unit. Currently, the system is being tested on a daily basis at Southwest Solar’s Research Park, an 18-acre facility just south of the Sky Habror Airport near Phoenix.
Solar dishes are one of most efficient ways to capture energy from the sun. Just three years ago in New Mexico, the Sandia Corporation, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, was able to clock a solar-to-grid conversion rate of almost 32%, breaking a 1984 record. And although those results were only achievable during perfect conditions, a 32% conversion rate is something worth noting.
Larger, most efficient solar dishes, like the one commissioned by Southwest Solar, will ultimately mean a larger set-savings when it comes to production costs, thereby giving manufacturers a faster return on their investment. For more details on how solar-dishes work, watch this video that shows how the system works.