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CSIRO Heliostats Deployed to Thermal Focus

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The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia’s federal government agency for scientific research, will be providing its solar heliostat technology to Beijing-based Thermal Focus for concentrating solar thermal (CST) electricity generation in China.

China has announced plans to produce 1.4 GW of CST by 2018, and 5 GW by 2020, doubling the world's installed concentrated solar plants. Thermal Focus plans to manufacture, market, sell and install CSIRO's patented, low-cost heliostats, field control software and design software in China, with a shared revenue stream back to Australia to fund further climate mitigation research. CSIRO Chief Executive Larry Marshall said he was proud of CSIRO Energy's solar thermal technology team and their innovative science for the contribution it is making to support Australia's mitigation R&D.

"Australia is a leader in clean energy technology and CSIRO's partnership with China's Thermal Focus takes our climate mitigation focus to a global stage," said Marshall. "This is another great example of all four pillars of our Strategy 2020 in action: using excellent science to deliver breakthrough innovation, and through global collaboration, increasing renewable energy deliverables."

A heliostat field can represent up to 40 percent of the total plant cost. CSIRO's design features smaller than conventional heliostats and uses an advanced control system to get high performance from a cost-effective design. Its software optimizes the configuration of the heliostats prior to construction and manages each heliostat to ensure the optimum amount of reflected heat is focused on the receiver, maximizing the amount of power that can be produced.

"CSIRO's solar thermal technology combined with our manufacturing capability will help expedite and deliver solar thermal as an important source of renewable energy in China," said Wei Zhu of Thermal Focus. "This partnership will help us commercialize this emerging technology on a larger scale."

Photonics Spectra
Feb 2017
CSIROCommonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research OrganizationThermal FocusAsia-PacificBusinessindustrialResearch & Technologylight speed

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