South African prototype may solve solar power problem

concentrating solar power plant elp 1

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — By thinking small, a group of South African scientists may have pioneered solar technology that has stumped internet giant Google.

An engineer at Stellenbosch University's Helio100 project says the team has designed a cost-effective heliostat that harnesses solar power to generate electricity. A heliostat is an energy-producing device that uses mirrors or lenses to reflect sunlight.

Research engineer Sebastian-James Bode says the South African device is different because it is "plonkable," meaning it can be plonked down, without much construction needed to set it up. The team aims to reduce production cost further to 6 cents per square meter of mirror.

Until now, building heliostat plants has been prohibitively expensive.

In 2011, Google announced that it halted its own heliostat project after researchers could not design an inexpensive model.

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now


Making DDoS Mitigation Part of Your Incident Response Plan: Critical Steps and Best Practices

Like a new virulent strain of flu, the impact of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is...

The Multi-Tax Challenge of Managing Excise Tax and Sales Tax

To be able to accurately calculate multiple tax types, companies must be prepared to continually ...

Operational Analytics in the Power Industry

Cloud computing, smart grids, and other technologies are changing transmission and distribution. ...

Maximizing Operational Excellence

In a recent survey conducted by PennEnergy Research, 70% of surveyed energy industry professional...

Latest Energy Jobs

View more Job Listings >>