RayGen combines solar technologies for bush solar revolution

raygen system

The RayGen System focuses solar onto a novel concentrator. Image (c) Raygen

You get the best renewable energy stories tucked away in the rural press. Proof that solar power innovation in the bush is moving ahead by leaps and bounds. This despite the often backwards policy of our elected representatives.

So it was this week when a bit of digging unearthed the unveiling of a $3.6 million solar power facility in Newbridge in Central Victoria. The plant, developed by renewable research and development company RayGen Resources, combines PV cells with concentrating solar technology.

The concept works by focusing sunlight from mirrors which are computer-controlled to follow the sun onto a tower.

“The collector field focuses the light on the receiver. The receiver directly converts that light to electricity,” said co-founder and technical director of RayGen, John Lasich to ABC Local.

The idea behind the Newbridge facility has the potential to revolutionise the way we access solar energy, according to RayGen. The small receiver combines “…heliostats and denser photovoltaic cells, which when combined give very low cost and high efficiency,” according to Mr Lasich.

“The end result is very low cost solar electricity and we think it’s going to really revolutionise solar energy,” added Robert Cart, CEO and co-founder of the company.

It is worth noting that the Newbridge test facility, which if all goes to plan will be a major export technology for RayGen, was supported by a $1 million grant from ARENA. This is the agency which the Australian federal government has sought to gut completely. Does the government need any more proof of the agency’s worth?

While only in pilot testing mode, the RayGen team are happy with the end results. They say the facility generates enough solar energy to power around 100 homes. The company claim the technology is cheaper and more efficient than traditional solar panels installed on the roofs of farmers’ buildings.

Solar power innovation in the bush is a key component of the Australian solar sector. Low cost, efficient and clean, the concentrating solar PV is a sign that Australian farmers and large agribusinesses will experience the benefit of technology such as the test facility at Newbridge.

Comments

  1. YesMinister says

    Good stuff, exactly the kind of innovation for which we were once famous. Now lets see some chinese company snap it up and sell the products back to us.

  2. Harsh but true YesMinister? I can hear the wheels turning as we speak.

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