Not long ago, the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab from the University of Arizona has produced a prototype of a solar device that is able to give energy at a price comparable with the cheapest fossil fuels.
Roger Angel, the inventor of the device thinks that he is able to use mirrors, 21 segments arrayed in a parabola on a lightweight aluminum frame, to focus sun’s light rays on a small solar cell. The prototype will be sent to a military base (Raytheon Missile Systems) to make further investigations if the device could be used as a portable solar generator in the battlefield to make electricity whenever needed.
Eric Betterton, a professor from the University of Arizona, is the main investigator of this project.
The hand-coated mirrors are forged individually in the lab and the cost of the assembly with engineering costs is about $300,000.
The director and founder of Mirror Lab, Prof. Roger Angel, says that the assembly is $200 worth of glass and could be mass produced for about $1,500, making the device producing the electricity at the cost of the cheapest coal-burning electrical plants. It looks like there’s no real reason to continue with coal burning plants anymore.