Global energy consumption will grow nearly 50% from 2018 through 2050, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
While developed nations are expected to see further growth in energy consumption, the bulk of the increase is projected to come from emerging Asian nations, driven by rapid population growth, economic growth, and increased access to marketed energy. This outlook presents significant challenges for the global environment and climate, and for the most affected countries in particular, and significant opportunities for market participants with compelling energy solutions to offer.
Heat is the largest energy end-use worldwide, accounting for around half of total global energy consumption. Just over half of the heat produced is consumed in industry – for example, for process heat, drying and industrial hot water uses. Most of the rest is used for space and water heating and cooking in the commercial and residential sectors, with the remainder in agriculture. Currently, only about one-tenth of heat is produced from renewables.
Solar thermal energy has the potential to play a significant role in meeting future energy demand in a sustainable way. Installed solar thermal heat capacity, including residential, commercial and municipal systems and solar heat for industrial processes, has expanded significantly in the last decade to exceed 480 gigawatts of thermal capacity (GWth) by the end of 2018, nearly as much as installed solar PV capacity.
Widely used solutions for solar heating include flat plate collectors, evacuated tube, and parabolic trough systems. These are proven technologies that have been long established in the market. However, there has also been limited innovation in the solar thermal energy market.Source: Energy Information Administration (EIA), International Energy Agency (IEA).
Solarflux’s FOCUS concentrator offers a novel solar thermal solution with significant performance and cost advantages over incumbent offerings, as well as fossil fuel based systems including natural gas, coal and diesel generation.
Solar thermal energy can be used for a wide variety of applications, including hot water, space heating and cooling, industrial process heat, electricity generation, water purification and desalination and remote power generation.
Hot Water, Space Heating and Cooling
The FOCUS provides an easily deployable renewable energy source capable of providing hot water including boiler pre-heating, as well as thermally-driven space heating and cooling at low lifetime cost.
Unique amongst solar thermal energy technologies, the FOCUS is capable of delivering heat in the range of 50ºC up to 600ºC, depending on the heat transfer fluid used. This wide temperature range makes it suitable to provide thermal energy to a variety of commercial and industrial processes, including cooking, pressurization, sterilization, bleaching, distillation, concentrating, drying, kilning, as well as chemical or other high temperature processes.
Paired with a microturbine, the FOCUS can reliably produce electricity. Coupled with low cost thermal storage, electricity can be delivered outside of daylight hours to meet local user requirements.
Water Purification and Desalination
By providing an abundance of low cost thermal energy, the FOCUS is capable of powering energy efficient, thermally-driven water treatment processes to purify large volumes of polluted or brackish, briny water.
Remote Power Generation
The FOCUS has been designed from inception to operate with no external inputs and minimal maintenance, requiring only direct sunlight to produce power. As a result the FOCUS is very well-suited for power generation in remote settings, including islands, forward operating bases, refugee camps, and remote villages and sites.