Our business interests include technology development, project development, services and consulting. Our strengths are based on a combination of the team skills and the technology, together geared to solve systems problems in a holistic and ‘think-different’ way.
Under licence of Stellenbosch University and with the support of the Technology Innovation Agency, we endeavour to commercialise and industrialise the Heliopod technology which was developed through the Helio100 project. A Heliopod consists of a triangular steel structure which supports six small, autonomous heliostats (mirrors specifically designed to reflect and focus sunlight). Multiple Heliopods within a solar field are designed to be collectively controlled by a smart integrated control system.
The Heliopod offers a unique value proposition within the CSP market due to its innovative design, simple installation and performance superiority. Key strengths of the Heliopod:
- High localization potential via licensed manufacturing
- No advanced manufacturing capabilities required for the majority of the components
- Simplicity allowing for infield assembly by relatively unskilled labour
- Smaller heliostats leveraging economics of scale, reaching production volumes similar to the automotive industry
- Low cost design reducing the upfront capital cost required
- Modularity of system improves ability for staggered or modular project rollout and adjustment of field size to changing demand
- Low impact installation minimises earthworks
- An intelligent self-calibrating heliostat with a modular design ensuring that the heliostat remains flexible
- Low slope and tracking errors to provide optical accuracy for high flux applications
- Small aperture of heliostats resulting in additional optical benefits
- Integrated Heliopod system permits maximal flexibility and true modularity
We invite other technology experts, investors or potential customers to engage with us regarding interest in the Heliopod commercialisation and industrialisation.
We aim to provide project development and –management expertise in distributed power plants which incorporates the Heliopod technology into distributed, modular CSP systems. One of our goals are to be an enabler of next-generation scalable CSP plants offering off-grid, carbon emission-free heat and power directly to the end-user.
Services & Consulting
We aim offer high-quality, customised consulting services in the following areas of expertise:
- Energy, energy conversion and thermal engineering
- Basic solar power plant yield assessments
- Independent power plant layout and computer aided design
- CSP QA, design tools and techniques
- Wireless, autonomous control and tracking
- Energy systems analysis for policy, risk, techno-economics and technology decision
- Environmental screening and input for renewable energy power plants
Our team and team members have been involved in a wide variety of renewable energy, and CSP technology related projects throughout the past few years. The following represent the major projects we have been involved in directly and/or with partners:
Project planning for an initial demonstration plant and subsequent utility scale installation of a next generation CSP plant in south-east Asia with external project developers and 247Solar as technology partner.
Energy yield assessment for a 200MW parabolic trough plant and Energy yield estimate for smaller PV power plant in Dubai, UAE.
Participation in macro-economic assessment of a 135 MW CSP plant in Namibia.
Revision and Preliminary Implementation Layout for 150 MW central receiver plant for a REIPPP bidder, South Africa.
2014 – 2015
Helio100 flagship project, a TIA funded technology development project aiming to develop a low cost South African heliostat system for CSP.
2014 – 2015
WWF contract published as ‘Feasibility of the WWF Renewable Energy Vision 2030 – South Africa’. A spatial-temporal simulation of various 2030 national electricity scenarios. Study highlights the value of energy storage in pumped storage schemes and in CSP plants to the South African electricity generation system.
Consulting for leading U.S. CSP plant developer on REIPPP project. Study involved looking at impact and possible mitigation of dust as by-product of a mining activity nearby a CSP plant onto plant performance.
2012 – 2013
Helio40, a SASOL funded project which delivered South Africa’s first locally developed heliostat demonstration facility at Stellenbosch University.