SDG&E Launches Solar Power Demonstration Projects

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has unveiled two new solar power demonstration installations. The technologies are being employed by the utility's El Cajon, Calif., operations center.

The first project is a PowerDish, built by Infinia of Kennewick, Wash. This installation features a mirrored disc 15 feet in diameter that concentrates and focuses the sun's energy onto a compact Stirling engine. Each PowerDish produces up to 3 kW of electricity, according to SDG&E.

The second project uses concentrator photovoltaic technology built by SolFocus of Mountain View, Calif. This technology uses a reflective optical system to concentrate sunlight 650 times onto photovoltaic cells. The rectangular system is 24 feet wide and 18 feet tall.

The total cost for both projects is $80,000 and will be funded by SDG&E's research and development group. The demonstrations are expected to continue for 12 to 18 months, after which SDG&E will share the results with the manufacturers.

SOURCE: San Diego Gas & Electric

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