We’re moving forward with the research and initial system design for Project Boil the Ocean. During the past month, we set up a secured server system for data acquisition, controls, surveillance, and automation. This system allows for remote monitoring and data acquisition, similar to the wind farm test rig for Project Mustard Seed but with more fail-safes and advanced design features.
We also explored various concepts for solar thermal collectors, and have decided upon a central-receiver type of solar collector design. Compared to parabolic troughs and Fresnel mirror systems, a central-receiver-type system is capable of much higher efficiencies, which means more power in the same area. A naval but simple design is in works for creating a field of solar tracking mirrors and central receiver using inexpensive, mostly off-the-shelf hardware. According to a 2003 study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), for a solar thermal power plant, the solar collectors represent nearly half of the total costs that go into building a solar thermal plant, followed by about 15-20 percent of the costs for the receiver.
As always, if you are interested in becoming involved with this project, or have ideas about other projects that you would like us to be involved with, visit our “Become Involved” page.
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