Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on solutions for the energy sector. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we want to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 5 promising concentrated solar power solutions.
Heat Map: 5 Top Concentrated Solar Power Solutions
Using our StartUs Insights Platform, covering 1.116.000+ startups & emerging companies, we looked at innovation in the field of solar power. For this research, we identified 109 relevant solutions and picked 5 to showcase below. These companies were chosen based on a data-driven startup scouting approach, taking into account factors such as location, founding year, and technology among others. Depending on your specific criteria, the top picks might look entirely different.
The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 startups & emerging companies developing concentrated solar power solutions. Moreover, the Heat Map reveals regions that observe a high startup activity and illustrates the geographic distribution of all 109 companies we analyzed for this specific topic.
ALTO Solution – Parabolic Troughs
The main challenges for the solar industry revolve around generating the maximum energy possible and then store it. Parabolic systems use thermocline tanks to address some of the energy storage issues. Cylindrical mirrors focus the sun’s rays on an absorbent tube. These mirrors then collect sunlight along one axis, while the receivers that contain the heat transfer fluid are hit with focused sunlight. As a result, this technology enables the use of natural gas as a secondary source of fuel.
French company ALTO Solution designs and develops a parabolic trough to concentrate solar power either for the production of process heat or for producing electricity. The startup’s Sol.CT technology also includes an ultra-high performance concrete structure that reduces optical errors. The approximation of a near-perfect parabola makes such mirrors cheaper compared to thermally curved mirrors. In addition, parabolic troughs offer higher resistance to wind.
Megalim – Solar Power Tower
The rapid advancements in solar technologies lead emerging companies to develop granular solutions to reduce the costs for photovoltaic (PV) power plants. The advantage of a tower-type solar station is that sunlight on the central receiver tower focuses on a smaller area, removing the need for pumping coolant through the pipeline around a large field of heliostats. This results in higher temperatures of the working fluid in the receiver and also improves steam performance. The relatively low-cost makes combinations of solar panels and gas turbine power plants more profitable for isolated places.
Megalim Solar Power LTD is an Israeli company manufacturing solar power towers using an array of flat, movable mirrors to focus the sun’s rays on a collector tower. The tower, in turn, creates high-temperature steam to power a turbine. The company combines plant design, optimization software, and a control system to enable the creation of high-temperature steam. Similar to traditional thermal power plants, Megalim utilizes the sun’s energy, instead of fossil fuels, to operate a steam turbine.
ALSOLEN – Fresnel Reflectors
Fresnel reflectors help lower energy costs as they incorporate a narrow design, allowing for less windage compared to other types of solar concentrators. Moreover, fresnel reflectors provide higher peak power and provide a more uniform load distribution. This design additionally eliminates the need for massive concrete foundations and ensures low-resource utilization.
ALSOLEN is a Moroccan startup works on solar thermal power plants using fresnel reflectors. Apart from integrating power and thermal storage, these power plants also provide a boost to energy efficiency, for example, by using absorption chiller machines. The company also builds mobile factories that support the manufacturing processes of the solar field.
Azelio – Dish Stirling
Dish Stirling technology intends to produce low-cost energy among the various renewable energy technologies, especially in large-scale production and hot zones. The Stirling system uses a large reflective parabolic dish and focuses the sunlight on the dish, where the receiver captures the heat and turns it into usable thermal energy. Usually, the dish is combined with the Stirling engine in the Dish-Stirling system. This also creates rotational kinetic energy that converts into electricity using an electric generator.
Swedish company Azelio creates sustainable technology to provide efficient conversion of solar power. The company’s technology eliminates using water for cooling or steam production, as the Stirling engine converts the heat into a mechanical movement to drive the generators directly. This results in higher solar to electricity conversion rate. Azelio also uses multiple suppliers of solar concentrators globally and integrates its own software to control them.
Insolight – Concentrating Photovoltaic (CPV)
Firstly, concentrated photovoltaic systems are cheaper than concentrated solar thermal energy systems. Moreover, CPV systems do not take up much land because they are installed onto tracking systems. It is also possible to use the place under the panels for growing crops, allowing for multi-purpose land utilization. Solar thermal power plants usually require a large amount of water and, in contrast, CPV stations use only a small amount of water.
Swiss startup Insolight builds planar optical micro-tracking systems that keep each cell in focus regardless of the sun’s position. The resulting flat panel combines higher efficiency with easier mounting on a standard rooftop or ground-mounted installation. The technology enables subtle sun-tracking by employing horizontal sliding movements, while the module stays at a fixed tilt. Insolight’s modules are capable of enduring extreme radiation and temperature, especially useful in satellite applications.
What About The Other 104 Solutions?
While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence so you can achieve your goals faster. The 5 concentrated solar power solutions showcased above are promising examples out of 109 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria, get in touch.