Mirrored Solar Energy Array Captures World Record for Efficiency

Mirrored Solar Energy Array Captures World Record for Efficiency



Swedish company Ripasso are currently testing their solar energy harvesting array in the Kalahari Desert. And they claim that the electricity generation system is the most efficient ever created.

Huge 100 square metre mirrored dishes move throughout the day, following the path of the Sun. They act as giant lenses, focussing solar energy to a tiny hot point, which powers a zero-emission Stirling engine.

Ripasso boast that 32% of the sun’s energy hitting the mirrors is converted directly to electricity in the grid - a world record. Traditional solar panels are able to turn as much as 23% of the solar energy that strikes them into electricity, but the average, directly usable output for most systems is about 15%. In addition, the company say that no water is needed for the process and say that land use needs are minimal - requiring approximately 2 hectares per MW.


Yet however efficient the system is, the key issue is whether costs can be kept low enough to compete with photovoltaics - traditional solar panels - which are falling in cost every year.



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