The objective of this project is to demonstrate the effectiveness of a concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) system, SolarPoint Power, and quantify its economic advantages over traditional solar energy solutions (i.e., flat panel photovoltaic). A 6.4kW array will be installed to demonstrate the system's performance, reliability, and ease-of-integration into new and existing Department of Defense (DoD) facilities. The demonstration of this technology at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, will serve as a testing ground for required technology certifications (Underwriters Laboratory (UL) listing, CE Mark (Europe), etc.) for large-scale implementation at other DoD and federal facilities.
Sunlight Direct's SolarPoint Power system is a CPV technology sized at 800W peak output. The system is manufactured using low-cost, high-durability plastic parabolic mirrors, and it is scaled for installation on both rooftops and ground-based sites. The system uses high efficiency (38%) concentrated photovoltaic solar cells and has the near-term potential to produce electricity at prices competitive with fossil fuels. Although most competing CPV products are large in size (greater than 25kW), use traditional glass and metal optics, and are intended for utility-scale applications only (i.e., not for point-of-use siting), the SolarPoint Power system is designed to be small, lightweight, and installed and maintained by facility personnel. The CPV system is easily scalable from 800W to 100kW or more.
The SolarPoint Power system has the potential to provide affordable renewable power for the vast majority of new and existing DoD facilities across the world. This project will quantify the cost savings, carbon footprint reduction, and power production capacity associated with this technology while simultaneously evaluating DoD-specific installation and integration issues. In addition, third-party testing and certification based on the performance data from these demonstrations will lay the groundwork for a near-term rollout of this technology at DoD and federal facilities across the United States. (Anticipated Project Completion - 2013)