Solar: Solar radiation presents a boundless opportunity for energy conversion. The energy density on a clear day is approximately 1000 watts per square meter. The challenge with solar-electric conversion technologies is capturing this energy at a competitive cost.
The SolarCAT™ system utilizes nominally 20 meter diameter reflective dishes to focus about 230 kW of solar energy on a receiver, which heats compressed air. Two variations are currently under development; one incorporating a special purpose-built gas turbine engine, and a second gas turbine version which further incorporates compressed air energy storage. Brayton Energy and our affiliate, Southwest Solar Technologies, Inc. are collaborating on the development of a 100 MWe power plant at a site near Phoenix.
SolarCAT Receiver Internals
SolarCAT On Dish for Testing
SolarCAT On Sun
SolarCAT turbogenerator unit
Economics:Traditional solar-electric conversion systems suffer from high cost, making payback a very long term proposition. Our work with combined, high efficiency cycles promises to dramatically reduce the equipment cost per Kilowatt from present levels. Current SolarCAT products for utility scale power have cost targets of nominally $1000/kWe. This system is projected to meet US DoE energy cost guidelines of $0.075 to 0.01 /kWH. Our 85 kWe stand-alone remote village power module has a cost target of nominally $1800/kWe.
Patents: Brayton holds numerous patents in the areas of turbomachinery and heat exchangers, and is constantly working to develop more art in these and other associated areas. Frequently, this inventory of intellectual property is used to enable new projects and new ventures stemming from those projects
Alanthus 5 kWe Power Module:
Portable small-scale hybrid solar power module developed for the US Dept. of Defense
Work performed with Alanthus, LLC, in conjunction with US DOD Small Business Innovations Research contract
Google 900 kWe Power Tower:
Large-scale hybrid solar power generation design commissioned by Google.
More info available here: