Google Developing Own Solar Thermal Technology
If you don’t like how something’s done, do it yourself. Google is taking that idea to heart when it comes to solar thermal technology. The company has been disappointed with the progress in this sector, so it’s developing its own mirror technology that will supposedly make cheaper by at least half.
Google is experimenting with different materials for making the mirrors, trying to find an efficient and cheaper solution. The company wants to cut the cost solar thermal installations by half, but hopefully by 66 – 75 percent. Currently, a 250-MW solar thermal installation produces energy at a rate of about 12 – 14 cents/kWh. The company would like to develop a product that would lower that cost to 5 cents or less per kWh.
The company is planning on having a prototype ready for internal presentation within the next couple of months. Then they will perform aggressive testing to make sure the technology can withstand decades of wear.
Google is also working to develop a gas turbine that would run on solar power instead of natural gas that could lower electricity costs even further.