"Synthetic materials can play an important role in solar energy"
11 Jun, 2009 08:36 am
Intersolar 2009, the world's largest solar technology trade fair, took place in Munich from May 27 to 29. 'PolyTrough 1200', an innovative sun collector using polymeric materials for its substructure developed by Australian company NEP Solar Pty Ltd, was awarded in the Solar Thermal Technology Category. Antoine Millioud, Chief Financial Officer of NEP Solar, answers Scitizen's questions.
The PolyTrough1200 is a concentrating solar thermal collector. Concentration allows the collector to operate above 200C at a thermal efficiency of about 60%. In comparison to the conventional flat plate and vacuum tube collectors higher operating temperatures at good operating efficiencies can thus be achieved.
What are its applications?
The PolyTrough 1200 was designed for applications where heat at 120 to 220C is needed. Mains areas of applications are industrial processes, solar cooling, distributed power generation and large commercial water heating.
What is the potential of synthetic in the solar industry?
Synthetic materials can play an important role in solar energy as a substitution material for conventional metallic elements. The particular properties of composites for instance opens up new design solutions.
What will be the improvements of Polytrough 1800, in the development stage, compared to Polytrough 1200?
The PolyTrough 1800 is based on the same design solutions as the PolyTrough 1200. Through a larger aperture (1800mm wide instead of 1200mm) we expect cost savings of 15-20%.
Antoine Millioud holds a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) and an MBA from INSEAD, France. He has been active in the energy industry for fifteen years in a range of positions from R&D and engineering to project management and development.