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FOCUS Concentrator Unit

FOCUS Overview

The FOCUS is a concentrated solar power (CSP) solution which uses a patented parabolic dish concentrator design to provide clean, low-cost thermal energy.

Utilizes a unique optical design that permits axial and radial control of the focal plane, improving manufacturability and energy conversion efficiency.

Easy to install, calibrate and maintain, the FOCUS is designed for autonomous operation in challenging environments.

Designed from inception to minimize lifetime cost per unit of energy delivered, the FOCUS is a versatile, high performance, cost-effective clean energy solution.

How It Works

Made from low-cost, resilient aluminum reflectors, the FOCUS parabolic reflector dish is mounted on a tracker which rests on a steel mast. Following the sun on two axes throughout the day, the FOCUS maximizes the capture of solar radiation. Solar radiation is reflected off the concentrator onto a central receiver, heating a circulating thermal fluid. The heated fluid then passes through a heat exchanger to create high temperature steam, or other high temperature and enthalpy fluids which can be used for a wide variety of applications.

FOCUS Key Benefits

Clean, Renewable Energy Source

As a solar concentrator, the FOCUS requires no external fuel or other inputs for operation, relying exclusively on direct sunlight. The limited electrical requirements are supplied by an onboard PV system and battery. Made almost entirely of cost effective steel and aluminum, the FOCUS is fully recyclable and does not contain any rare earth metals or toxic substances. FOCUS can deliver thermal energy in the temperature range of 50ºC up to 600ºC, limited only by the heat transfer fluid to be used, and the requirements of the use case.

Low Cost Thermal Energy

The FOCUS was designed with the objective of minimizing cost per kWh generated, on a Levelized Cost of Heat (LCOH) basis. For heat energy applications, the FOCUS delivers significantly higher energy yield relative to solar photovoltaic systems. And, by employing innovative optics and dual-axis tracking, the FOCUS also substantially outperforms parabolic trough systems. Unit costs are minimized through the use of low cost materials, a structurally efficient design, and design for manufacturing techniques. Additionally, the efficient installation and commissioning process yields significant savings relative to competing technologies. Further cost savings are realized with the integration of energy storage, as large scale thermal energy storage is both feasible and significantly cheaper than electrical energy storage.

Easy to Install and Maintain

The FOCUS can be installed and calibrated in a matter of hours, in contrast to alternative solar thermal technologies which often require extensive site preparation and calibration. Mast-mounted, each FOCUS unit requires only a limited land area and can be installed on a variety of terrain. System calibration is automated, and is performed shortly after installation is completed. Designed for remote operation in challenging environments, the FOCUS is extremely rigorous and robust and requires little maintenance.

How the FOCUS Compares to Key Alternatives

Scroll horizontally to see the full table
SolarfluxParabolic TroughPhotovoltaicNatural GasDiesel
(remote generation)
ApplicationThermal & Electricity GenerationElectricity GenerationElectricity GenerationIndustrial Process HeatRemote Electricity Generation
$ / kWhVery Low*LowLowLowVery High
InstallationVery FastSlowFastFastVery Fast
Operations & MaintenanceMinimalSignificantMinimalMediumMinimal
Land Required / kWhMediumHighHighLowLow
Fuel DependencyZeroZeroZeroVery HighVery High
Fuel Price ExposureZeroZeroZeroVery HighVery High
Environmental ImpactLowestLowMediumVery HighVery High

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