Technology: IAS Solar Lenses

IAS Achieves Significant Technological Breakthrough Over Photovoltaic and CSP!


Tony Hayward, the embattled former CEO of BP said recently, "Solar energy needs a technological breakthrough before it will be competitive with standard sources of energy." Photovoltaic (PV) systems (for which Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 for his experiments with solar energy and photovoltaics) are not even close to being competitive, and while superior to Photovoltaic technology, current Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) systems need to be improved upon to become a viable replacement for standard fossil fuel energy sources. There are three basic challenges with current solar energy technologies: they are too expensive to manufacture, build, and maintain, annual energy output capacity is limited, and they typically use excessive amounts of water with the use of large water cooling towers. This is why RaPower3 is so enamored with the IAS technology. IAS has met all three of these challenges and achieved the technological breakthrough so desperately needed by our nation and the world.

Concentrated Solar Power Systems (CSP) is the acknowledged optimal method for converting solar power to electrical power, far superior to photovoltaic (PV) (see diagram to left). And IAS is taking CSP to a new level of production and capacity never before seen. Standard CSP methods include solar dishes, troughs, and heliostats. IAS's technology is also a CSP system and operates under similar thermo dynamic principles, but with a number of technological advantages. For example, IAS does not use expensive mirrors. They have produced a unique Fresnel lens to refract the sun's rays instead of reflect them. The error ratio of reflecting the solar rays from a mirror to its target is four times greater than refracting rays. Mirror-based CSP trusses, hinges and tracking systems require significantly high tolerances to maintain focus and remain correctly dialed in.

With IAS's Fresnel lens, the cost of manufacturing has been drastically reduced due to the absence of tight tolerances. IAS's unique solar panels have been independently tested and show efficiencies of over 90%. In testing, this lens produced temperatures from 1,600-1,800 degrees Fahrenheit with a 30+ inch diameter focal point in the field. This represents a dramatic technological advance in concentratedsolar power system (CSP) technology.

"MOLD / ROLLER:The first challenge was to build a mold or roller that would enable mass production of lenses. It was thought to be a scientific impossibility, but no longer. IAS has done it! A finished mold/roller is a copper cylinder eight feet in length and about 22-inches in diameter. The cylinder is then shipped to Lucite for manufacturing. The first mold/roller has been completed, and more will be manufactured with the 89,000 pound mold making machine acquired by IAS from Boeing Aircraft in 2009.


Lucite International is a global leader in design, development and manufacture of acrylic-based products. Today, acrylic-based products touch our lives in so many ways. From contemporary baths, showers and spas, furniture and interior accessories to mobile phone screens, vehicle lights and signage. And now we have production of plastic/acrylic solar panels. These panels can be mass-produced. Current production runs indicate that just one mold can easily produce 350 megawatts per year.

MASS PRODUCTION OF LENSES: IAS has the capability of making many molds per year and Lucite has no limitations on the number of molds that can go on their production lines. Since one mold can produce 350 megawatts per year, there is no limit to the ability to mass produce solar panels. Specifically, the Lucite panels are made up of a very durable, engineering grade monomer material that has been known to last more than 60 years. These panels are also 100% recyclable.

When compared to the complexities of the construction of hydroelectric or nuclear power plants, the construction of IAS solar plants is far simpler and less expensive. The individual panels fit together in a circular pattern that spans close to 39-feet in diameter. When finished, it looks similar to a satellite dish. The circular dish is then mounted on a steel tower about fifty feet high.

DUAL-AXIS TRACKING:  With the IAS solar tower in the photograph to the left, four of these circles are mounted to a single tower equipped with patented hydraulic, dual-axis, automated tracking. This means no matter where the sun is in the sky, the tracking system will position the panels to receive a direct hit from the sun. This creates maximum efficiency. IAS has designed and tested their dual-axis tracking structure to follow the sun, monitor windspeed, and measure the sun's energy per square meter. The design and manufacturing process for this dual-axis tracking system has been built with high volume and mass production in mind, and in October, 2010 a Utah manufacturing plant was contracted with to mass produce the hydraulic dual-axis tracking systems for each solar tower. This was the final manufacturing component needed to position IAS to commence full-scale production and installation of fully functional solar towers, generating power!  Additionally, a patented automated louver system has recently been added which positions the dishes for minimum wind resistance in the event of increasing winds prior to and during wind storms. This IAS patented louver system has been certified and approved by independent civil engineers to protect the lenses and towers from damage in winds up to 90 mph.

Copyright 2009 by RaPower-3, LLC - All Rights Reserved Sun Power Solutions, LLC is an independent contractor for RaPower-3, LLC

April 1, 2010

Filed Under: SOLAR ENERGY Technology