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Our BatchGeo world MAP shows the locations of green architecture, green building and renewable energy projects featured on Solaripedia.

Project

Flux Energy Proposes Solar-Based Community

Credits: ©2010 Flux GS / Robert Orsello

This is not your standard concentrating solar power plant; it uses no water, the environmental impact is minimal, estimated at less than two percent of a site; and it operates 24 hours a day. Plus, it’s viewed as a neighborhood system. Robert Orsello, engineer and founder of Flux Energy GS, designer of the system, says they’re looking at an architectural aesthetic for this system they have dubbed The Sundial. They wanted to create something that could become an integral part of a neighborhood design while providing renewable energy. Orsello maintains that they’re going for higher than normal concentration of the solar energy to produce high-grade thermal energy in excess of 1000 degrees Fahrenheit; this yields higher efficiencies and allows the use of standard steam turbine technology in the power plant design. In addition, the SunDial’s single storage tank design eliminates the typical second storage tank, and the automated cleaning/inspection system operates nightly; both save money in operating costs. Orsello emphasizes that all components, materials, assemblies and resource are commonly available domestic products.

 

Flux Energy Sundial Cropped

The Flux Energy GS Sun Dial™ is a CST Tower Design, with a central Receiver Tower, Gathering Array of Mirrors, Thermal Energy Storage and Power Block. With efficient thermal storage, the act of converting stored energy into electrical power is a stand alone component of the system and can be done at any time, resulting in power production day and night. ©2009 Flux Energy GS

The Sun Dial™ is a CST Tower Design, with a central Receiver Tower, Gathering Array of Mirrors, Thermal Energy Storage and Power Block. Robert Orsello says the main components for a Concentrating Solar Thermal (CST) Power Plant design are:

 • Power Block – produces electricity from the stored thermal energy.

• Thermal Storage – insulated storage container which holds the thermal medium.

• Flux Receiver – accepts the concentrated flux energy and transfers it to the

thermal medium

• Flux Gathering Array – gathers and concentrates the solar flux over a large area

onto the small area of the Flux Receiver.

With efficient thermal storage, the act of converting stored energy into electrical power is a standalone component of the system and can be done at any time, resulting in power production day and night. While the Proprietary Plant Design by Flux Energy shares the main components of a traditional CST power plant, our uniqueness of design stands out in the Gathering and Storage of Solar Flux Energy, our novel Heat Rejection System and valuable additions for Mirror Cleaning.

Flux Gathering
In traditional design, the heat gathering array is a collection of thousands of fixed, independent mirror surfaces, each controlled and maneuvered by two axes of motion. Each has the task of placing its mirror surface at an angle to reflect the solar rays back to a central receiver. According to studies by NREL, nearly ½ of the cost of an entire power plant, using this design, is consumed in this gathering array called Heliostats. Our Secret - A rotating mirror array is the secret to our proprietary approach to gathering solar energy (flux) and concentrating it to a receiver. This technique is significantly more efficient and simplified, which increases the amount of solar energy collected during a solar day and reduces the overall system cost.

Thermal Energy Storage
While traditional designs utilize a high receiver tower and two storage tanks, one hot and one cold, our design utilizes a single, tall storage tower, which integrates into the receiver tower. Not only does this eliminate a redundant tank, but also minimizes the length of insulated piping to move the energy storage medium from the heating receiver, to the storage container. The design operates on the principles of a hot water tank in your home. By making the tank, tall with respect to its diameter, it is acceptable to use a single tank, with the hot fluid on top and the cooler fluid on the bottom, with a steep thermo-cline to separate the layers. For our storage design, we look to maintain approximately a 5 to 1 height to diameter ratio, yielding optimal benefit for construction cost and thermal performance.

Arid Heat Rejection
Power systems which derive energy from heat, need a heat rejection source. For large scale systems, this need has always been quenched by natural water. In the name of Power and Progress, Utilities have claimed this water as necessity. The source for this water might be a river, lake, irrigation or ground water. In every case, this water source is not improved by the process and would be better off left alone.

Solar Design allows for a unique advantage over fuel based energy solutions. Unused, the sun's energy would shine on the ground anyhow. A solar power plant is intercepting it, storing it, converting one quarter to electricity, then returning the remainder back to the earth, where it would have fallen in the first place. It is our contention that the ground environment in a solar scape needs the sun's heat to survive!

Flux Energy has designed a proprietary, large scale radiator which uses a combination of geothermal and air radiant cooling for heat rejection to return the heat to the land it was intended for. No water is consumed, no steam or humidity is placed into the atmosphere and no water body is warmed.

- No steam or out gassing.

- No water usage for cooling.

- Above ground raised Mirror Array for <2% ground impact of the land area.

- Reflecting mirrors move and allow every portion of ground to receive daily sunlight exposure.

- Sun's heat is returned to the environment it was intended for.

- Automated Waterless mirror Cleaning System.

- Greater Daily Yield per capacity.

- 24 hour power output.

- 100% Domestic Product.

Relevant book:

Large-Scale Solar Thermal Power


Resources

Flux Energy GS (USA)