IBM and AairLight Energy are developing a comprehensive HCPVT technology that includes desalination, solar and chiller
Companies IBM and AairLight Energy are working on a new technology HCPVT , which serves as the basis for solar energy. This system uses the achievements of IBM Corporation in the field of cooling and water purification and AairLight Energy technology in the field of solar energy.
The result of the overall development is a parabolic antenna with an area of approximately 40 square meters, covered with 36 elliptical mirrors. Mirrors are made of plastic film, the thickness of which is only 0.2 millimeters. The sun's rays are concentrated by the system on liquid-cooled tanks, with each receiver tank containing chips of approximately one square centimeter.
The performance of each such chip is 57 watts of energy per sunny day. The total performance of the system, one antenna - 2 kW of electrical energy + about 20 kW of thermal energy.
The cooling system is quite complex, and the principle of its work, according to the developers, resembles the principle of the human circulatory system. Miniature tubes conduct purified water around the receivers, removing excess thermal energy. In this case, heating goes up to a temperature of 85-90 degrees Celsius, which is quite enough for the normal operation of the chip. Without such a cooling system, heating would go up to 1500 degrees, which would lead to the destruction of the system.
According to the lead author of the study, Bruno Michel, such a system can be configured not only for energy production, but also for desalination of water, as well as for cooling the air. Water contaminated with mineral salts passes through heating pipes and is then purified in a distillation system with a permeable membrane.
As for cooling, this option is possible provided that the heat removed is transmitted through a heat exchanger with an evaporator and condenser, where water is used as a refrigerant.
Desalination capacity is quite high: about 40 liters of purified drinking water per square meter of receiver per day. If you create a “farm” from such receivers, you can supply a small city with drinking water. At the same time, the average service life of such a system is approximately 60 years, with the condition of timely preventive maintenance (cleaning and replacement of film, mirrors, inspection and repair of the entire structure).
The first systems of this type will appear in a few years (206-2017), since the desalination system needs final refinement.