International Design Contest 2010
The Z20 is designed to achieve industry record 75% solar efficiency. The system is based on a unique optical designed comprised of 1200 individual mirrors optimally aligned to create a concentrated effect equivalent to 1000x sunlight. The mirrors focus the solar energy on a revolutionary combined concentrated photo voltaic (CPV) and thermal heat exchanger, designed for 75% efficient solar energy conversion. high precision metal frame assembled onto an azimuth – elevation solar tracking system. The concentrated solar radiation is reflected from each individual mirror onto an array of solar cells. ZenithSolar uses field proven high efficiency multi-junction III-V solar cells. With relatively simple materials and low cost of assembly, ZenithSolar systems are able to compete with conventional forms of energy generation without government subsidies. The concept of Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) systems is to use low cost optics to increase the light incident onto the very high efficiency semiconductor solar cell material, thus reducing overall cost of the system while increasing energy output. In Z20 we used a revolutionary Optics in Plastic design to achieve space and energy efficiency. The double dish gondola design allows for much more elegant solution at reduced footprint and cost to the community. In conventional CPV systems, the excess heat generated in the solar cell needs to be removed to avoid damaging the cell and to maintain high efficiency of electricity conversion. Z20 utilizes the heat generated at the solar cell receiver to provide usable hot water heating, improving overall solar power conversion efficiency to 75%. The system provides high electrical output (4.5 KWh) concurrently with heat output (11 KWh) at temperatures ranging from those associated with domestic hot water to those suited to process heat – that can address vertical cogeneration applications.