High Gain Solar Power Array Demonstration Project Opens in San Jose, California

skyline solar high gain solar power demonstration plant photo

photo: Skyline Solar

Proving that there really are myriad ways to harness the power of the sun and turn it into electricity, Skyline Solar has announced that it is has constructed its first High Gain Solar power demonstration plant, in San Jose, California:Done in partnership with Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, the project took eight months to complete and showcases Skyline's High Gain Solar arrays.

If you're unfamiliar with HGS, here's how Skyline describes it:

Each HGS array consists of two main components: a Reflective Rack with integrated tracking, and four rows of High Gain Solar Panels along its edges. HGS Arrays are mechanically coupled together into long columns with adjacent units sharing mounting and tracking hardware. Multiple columns are installed side by side to create large solar fields. HGS arrays are manufactured using industry-standard materials proven through years of field experience.

High Gain Solar Panels

HGS Panels are similar to—but much smaller than—traditional silicon panels. Panels are oriented vertically along the edges of the Reflective Rack and contain a metal heat sink which enables efficient convection cooling with natural airflow. This allows cells to operate at lower temperatures for greater efficiency. HGS panels include a quick-connect feature for rapid installation onto the Reflective Racks and easy maintenance.

Reflective Rack

The Reflective Rack provides structural support for the overall array.  It also collects light from a large aperture and concentrates it onto the HGS Panels. The rack’s highly reflective top surface is covered with a thin durable metallic coating encased in oxide layers that ensures high durability. This top surface combined with set of prefabricated struts and ribs underneath forms a long stiff and lightweight space frame similar to structures used in the automotive and aircraft industries.

Skyline Awarded DOE Contract, More
In related news, Skyline was awarded $3 million from the Department of Energy as part of the Solar America Initiative to develop technologies to "make solar energy cost-competitive with conventional forms of electricity."

Additionally, Skyline has begun pilot-scale manufacturing of its High Gain Solar arrays in both the United States and Asia.

More: Skyline Solar (which has cool time lapse video of the HGS array tracking the sun, but alas it can't be embedded)

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