A San Diego company demonstrated yesterday at a San Diego Gas & Electric facility in Mission Valley that water could make photovoltaic panels more efficient. Their new concentrated solar power system uses shallow pools of water as a passive cooling system for high-efficiency solar cells. The unique proprietary technology was developed by Pyron Solar of Sorrento Valley, California.
According to the company, the Pyron Solar’s demonstration project will consist of a 45-foot wide pool of water, producing 22 kilowatts that will go directly onto the grid. To make sure it works as expected the engineers will track the system’s output for 18 months.
The new system uses a technology called concentrating solar, which pairs highly efficient solar panels initially designed for spacecrafts with lenses that focus the sun’s energy on a tiny space. This is the reason why it must be kept cool and to be precisely aimed.
In the future the company plans to use pingpong-size plastic balls to limit evaporation and put fish in the pool to fight mosquitoes. Pyron said that they are planning to ramp up production at its 30,000-square-foot Sorrento Valley factory, even testing the system in Mission Valley. The best thing at this system is that it doesn’t need much space to be installed, being attractive in all kinds of areas.