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July 8, 2009

Posted by OldGuy in solar.
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Bill Gross is CEO of eSolar, and thinks he’s finally found a way to use the power of the sun to generate massive amounts of energy.  He calls it a “disruptive revolution” in carbon-free energy.

Rather than using direct solar to electric conversion, which remains a technical challenge to do efficiently, Gross wants to use a “field of tabletop-sized glass panels” to reflect solar rays on liquid-filled towers.  The heat creates steam to drive a traditional turbine.

The system incorporates video cameras, a bank of Dell servers and complex software to monitor and move the mirrors to track the sun’s position.

Gross claims his power will cost around 10 cents per kilowatt-hour. That would make it less than wind power.    But then, Gross has been called a”serial entrepreneur” –  he’s launched more than 30 tech companies.  He’s also founder of startup incubator Idealab, based in Pasadena, CA.

I hope it works.

Sources:  Technology Review/Solar Thermal Heats Up, by Evan I. Schwartz and eSolar website.