RawSolar is emerging just at the right moment in the solar industry. While public projects are on hold, smaller systems for private lands can get some room on the solar industry playground. Incubated at MIT, RawSolar has a solar-concentrating dish prototype that looks promising, and theyâ€™re starting in on their business plan in (relatively) sunny
Back in May we covered how the dish works, and itâ€™s great to see the team making some progress on the business end of the project. While they arenâ€™t the only low-cost solar concentrating system in the works, theyâ€™re taking a unique angle on its use. Rather than producing electricity, RawSolar is focusing on selling steam power that can heat buildings or be applied to manufacturing processes. The dish has a 12-foot-long tube rising from the center that has water running through it and, when pointed at the sun, can turn that water in to steam immediately. RawSolar hopes to covert companies using thermal power to steam power, utilizing power purchase agreements that are cheaper than what the companies spend on natural gas for thermal power.
Concentrated solar is getting a lot of eyes turned its way because it is generally space-efficient and cost-efficient. Because RawSolarâ€™s dish can be easily constructed from inexpensive and easily obtained materials, with minimal labor and technical knowledge involved, it promises to be one of the most practical and cost-efficient solar-concentrating systems. David Pelly, MIT Sloan School of Management lecturer, stated that this is the cheapest set-up heâ€™s seen to a solar energy system, and notes that the fact that it is made of inexpensive materials available anywhere in the world makes global use of the product possible. Itâ€™ll be exciting to see where the team takes this venture.
The bay area is attractive to RawSolar because there are fewer solar companies there than in other areas of
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