About SunOyster Systems
SunOyster Systems GmbH (SOS) has its headquarter in Halstenbek near Hamburg and a subsidiary in Berlin, Germany. The company was founded in 2011 and concentrates on developing, producing and licensing the concentrating solar technology SunOyster. SunOyster Systems has applied for three international patents for the company’s main innovations.
August 5th, 2016
The new SunOyster lens paves way for receiver with 75% total energy efficiency in co-generation of power and heat
Hamburg, 5 August 2016. SunOyster Systems GmbH (SOS), the Hamburg-based manufacturer of the concentrating solar technology SunOyster for the co-generation of power and heat, reaches a technical
milestone in their R&D project of developing its concentrator cell receiver. “We are very happy that thanks to this new lens – the “SunOyster Crystal” – we are getting much closer to our target
of supplying in sunny areas the cheapest form of solar energy wherever heat or cold is needed” says General Manager Dr. Carsten Corino.
The receiver is the heart of the SunOyster. After the parabolic mirrors have concentrated the direct sun light 30 to 40 times onto the receiver, the receiver concentrates it a second time and transforms it into electricity and heat. In order to reach this target, a glass lens in the receiver is concentrating the sun light 16 times onto the highly efficient concentrator cells. The secondary concentration is needed to make full use of the precious concentrator cells which were originally developed for space applications. These multi-junction cells consist of three serially connected layers of semiconductor material, and each of them is converting a different part of the solar spectrum into electricity. At the same time, heat is generated and collected by a fluid circulating through the receiver. The development of the SunOyster receiver, for which patents are pending in Europe, US, India and China, is supported by the German Foundation of the Environment.
The new SunOyster Crystal allows not only an electric efficiency of 30%. A very important property of the lens is also its high tolerance regarding positioning and tracking errors.
“Although we are able to track in the millimeter range, it is of course much easier over the life-time of 20 years to reach the receiver position with a tolerance of roughly a centimeter, and also cheaper” explains SOS’ head of workshop Stephan Ulrich.
The new lens reaches a geometrical concentration of 530x. Taking into consideration the optical efficiency of approx. 75%, the optical concentration is a good 400x. The design of the lens was supported by Dr. Ralf Leutz, founder of Leutz Optics and Illumination. The prototype of the lens with a shape of a mountain crystal was cut and polished in the Bavarian Forest – where natural mountain crystals (also named “German diamond” by mineralogists) are found. Bigger numbers of the lens will be pressed from molten glass to reach low unit costs. One SunOyster receiver will contain more than 60 SunOyster Crystals and a corresponding number of cell assemblies. The two receivers of one SunOyster shall have a power output of almost 5 kW electrical plus 7.5 kW thermal.
SOS is presently selecting worldwide demonstration projects for the pre-series of its solar CHP technology, e.g. in the fields of process heat, solar cooling or swimming pools. The company has orders for a dozen machines in particular from Chile, Egypt and India, and further machines are under negotiation. SunOyster Systems is moreover organizing a Series B financing round.
More informations and pictures:
June 20th, 2016
Feasibility study will assess four different forms of solar cooling, both electrically and thermally driven. All of them powered by the SunOyster.
Brussels/ Hamburg, 20 June 2016. SunOyster Systems GmbH (SOS), the Hamburg-based manufacturer of the CPVT system SunOyster, is among the few German companies to pass the evaluation phase of the
new SME instrument of the European Commission.
The EU instrument offers a 70 per cent funding for small and medium enterprises – in particular YICs (Young Innovative Companies) like SOS – to realize their project in the topic “Stimulating the innovation potential of SMEs for a low carbon and efficient energy system”. While during the first phase the company shall prepare a detailed feasibility study, the second phase offers up to 2.5 M€ grants to implement the business plan. The success rate of German SMEs in this program is well below 10%, for start-ups like SOS even lower.
Increasing demand for air conditioning with worldwide more than 100 million units of compression air conditioners sold alone in 2014 has led to dramatic growth in electricity demand in many countries, to increasing electricity costs and brownouts. An obvious possibility to counter this trend is to use the same energy for cooling that contributes to the cooling demand – solar energy.
The objective of the SOcool Project is to use a concentrating photovoltaic/thermal (CPVT) system – the SunOyster – combined with chillers to provide the most cost-efficient solar energy on the market in form of electricity, heat and cold. This shall help achieving the 2K target of the Paris Convention while enhancing the living standard in rather hot climates, also as an adaptation strategy to global warming.
The SunOyster is a concentrating solar technology which can generate at the same time electricity and heat with a high total energy efficiency of 75%. From serial production, this will result in very low electricity and heat costs. While the electricity can easily be converted into other forms of energy and can be fed into the grid, the heat is more difficult to convert and has to be used locally. A technically, micro-economically and macro-economically very good form of using the heat in hot climates is converting it into cold for the cooling of buildings.
The biggest markets will be Southern Europe (Spain, Southern France, Italy, Greece and Turkey), Northern and Southern Africa, the Gulf region, India, South-East Asia, parts of China, Southern USA, parts of Middle and South America.
The preparation of the project application was accompanied by Dr. Harald Eifert and his Hamburg team of EuRA Consult AG. The feasibility study shall draw on the experience of French solar cooling expert Dr. Daniel Mugnier who is also heading the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Task 53 on innovative solar cooling systems. Several SunOyster customers have already ordered small solar cooling systems or are in the process of doing so.
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December 13th, 2015
The Concentrating Solar System for Combined Heat and Power Inks Sales Contracts for Pre-Series Installations in Chile, Egypt and India
SunOyster Systems GmbH (SOS), the Hamburg-based manufacturer of the CPVT system SunOyster, bags several contracts to install the innovative machines in different parts of the sun belt of the world. In the various locations and climates and under diverse grid conditions of the projects, SOS wants to demonstrate the maturity of the solar co-generation system for serial production.
The SunOyster reaches a total energy efficiency of up to 75%, i.e. 30% of the direct radiation is converted into electricity and 45% into heat. The SunOyster shall be the most competitive form of solar energy where besides electricity also heat and/or cold are needed. The SunOyster wants to play an important role in filling the Framework Convention on Climate Change – which was adopted yesterday in Paris – with life.
Starting in the West, the international utility ENGIE (formerly GdF Suez), through its Chilean subsidiary Laborelec Chile SpA, wants to install two machines in Chile and one in Belgium. Northern Chile has with 3,000 kWh per year and square meter the best direct normal irradiation (DNI) in the world. That corresponds to the energy content of 300 liters or two barrels of oil per m² and year. It is no wonder that many enterprises in Chile, for example mining companies, have discovered photovoltaic energy (PV) and also concentrating solar thermal power plants (CSP) as their cheapest form of power supply. The SunOyster will concentrate the Chilean sunshine more than 1,000 times in order to generate each up to 15,000 kWh of electricity and 22,500 kWh of heat. ENGIE wants to compare the yield in Northern Chile and in Santiago de Chile with a site in Belgium in order to assess the future use of the SunOyster especially in contracting models. ENGIE is expert operator in the three businesses of electricity (largest IPP of the world), natural gas and energy services. Sebastian Falkenberg, general manager of Laborelec Chile, is still selecting different possible platforms for an installation in second quarter of 2016.
“This project offers three advantages: We can prove our SunOyster in the hardest solar radiation of the world. ENGIE is a leading global energy player and of course a very potent customer. And finally the booming Chilean solar market can become interesting for us” says SunOyster Systems’ general manager Carsten Corino.
The Egyptian government is planning to reduce the present subsidies for fossil-generated electricity and to increase the share of renewable energies in the generation. DNI is frequently as high as 2,500 kWh – roughly three times the value of Hamburg. This is in particular the case for the off-grid area in which Egyptian entrepreneur Hassan Abdel Salam and his company Smart Power Solutions want to install three SunOysters in connection with an Eco Lodge. While the electricity shall replace most of the fuel used by the noisy diesel generator, the heat shall be used for thermal water desalination in order to “green the desert”. He is planning to develop the regional distribution of SunOysters.
Hassan Abdel Salam: “The African continent is facing a high increase in energy demand – in Egypt 8 % every year – and therefore a serious energy gap. Solar energy has become a very attractive option. The reason we chose the SunOyster is basically for its high efficiency of up to 75% which leads to low cost of energy. We believe we have the right product for the African market.”
In sunny India, the national government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a very ambitious target of 100,000 MW solar power capacity before the end of 2022. SOS will realize several installations with renowned companies which are interested to become a future large scale customer or perhaps even a local manufacturer of the SunOyster. Tata Power, belonging to the legendary Tata group, is the largest private utility in India. Tata wants to install the SunOyster on an office building in order to heat process water for the kitchen. Solar cooking and dish washing is popular in the large Indian canteens. Another paying customer is Swelect (formerly Numeric Power) from Chennai in Southern India. The mid-sized electronics manufacturer, PV installer and solar IPP wants to use the SunOyster heat in foundries belonging to the group. Altogether, SOS estimates the process heat demand of India in the SunOyster temperature range of up to 170°C to be around 140,000 MW today. For the SunOyster, this would correspond to an additional 93,000 MW of electricity generation. Or to altogether almost 20 million SunOysters of 16 m² mirror surface each.
Additional SunOyster supply contracts in these and more countries are under negotiation.
August 20th, 2015
High Temperature Receivers with Concentrator Cells to be Qualified
The German Federal Environmental Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, DBU), following the development of SunOyster Systems’ (SOS) innovative receiver, is also promoting its qualification phase. The grant amounts to up to 50% of the project cost. The project runs until 30 April 2016 when SOS wants to enter the serial production of the SunOyster.
The SunOyster uses bi-axially tracking parabolic mirrors to concentrate the sunlight in one line. In that line the hybrid receiver converts the sunlight both into electricity and heat. While the first receiver model was designed with high quality back-contact silicon cells for the electricity generation, the new receiver uses a secondary concentration in form of a lens to focus the radiation of the equivalent of approx. 1,000 suns on high quality multi-junction CPV cells. These cells of a German manufacturer have presently an efficiency of 44%. With various losses, an electric system efficiency of 30% in relation to the direct radiation shall be achieved. The concentrator cells are actively cooled by water or solar fluid so that in addition 45% of the radiation becomes useful heat of up to 170°C. The receiver is protected by the international patent application PCT/EP2014/052359.
The second phase of the project has the task to test and qualify all components and the complete receiver both in the laboratory and in the field. The testing shall include several highly qualified external partners for the cells and cell assemblies, the optical system, glass tube, anti-reflex coating and compensator and tests according to the CPV standard IEC 62108 and the solar thermal standard ISO 9806.
SunOyster general manager Dr. Carsten Corino says: “We are happy that the DBU accompanies also our second phase for developing our disruptive solar technology. Several expert opinions collected by DBU have confirmed the highly innovative nature of our technology.”
The DBU is one of Europe's largest foundations and promotes innovative and exemplary environmental projects. Since 1991, ca. 9000 projects have received financial backing totaling roundabout € 1.58 billion. The promotional activities concentrate on environmental technology and research, nature conservation, environmental communication and cultural assets.
on Juli 1, 2014
SunOyster Systems (SOS) based in Halstenbek, a town near Hamburg, Germany, has developed a new technology for the combined generation of solar heat and electricity (PVT). The first six SunOyster units are currently on their way to the Chinese town of Shuouzhou, 400 km west of Beijing. Yonghao Gangue Power Plant bought the system to feed electricity into its grid, as well as to supply heat to its district heating network. The network provides both space heating for an industrial area in winter and heat for a 10 kW adsorption chiller in summer. The photo shows company founder Carsten Corino next to the SunOyster demonstration unit at the company site in Halstenbek. The mirror on the left has been placed higher than the one on the right to minimise shading.
on March 6, 2014
SunOyster Systems GmbH (SOS), manufacturer and developer of the concentrating solar technology SunOyster, signed yesterday a supply agreement with the Yonghao Gangue Power Plant Ltd. for the
delivery of 63 concentrator systems in the Chinese province of Shanxi. The bi-axially tracking systems, the “SunOyster 16”, concentrate sunlight through semi-parabolic mirrors onto a linear-shaped
receiver and achieve an energy-based total efficiency of up to 75 per cent.
First batch covers demand of electricity, heat and refrigeration in apartments
In the spring of this year, SunOyster Systems will first deliver 13 plants of the SunOyster zero series to supply energy to Chinese apartment houses. The hybrid receivers will initially generate electricity by means of solar cells. Since the cells are actively cooled by a heat transfer fluid, the receiver will also co-generate heat, which can be used to heat space, water as well as to drive refrigerating machines. For this first part of the demonstration project, SunOyster Systems will be installing high quality back-contact silicon cells that have an electrical system efficiency of 15 per cent. Their thermal efficiency amounts to 60 per cent. They can only be operated, however, at transfer fluid temperatures of up to 100° Celsius.
Second batch generates electricity and stores heat in a coal-fired power plant
For the second batch from the pre-series of the SunOyster systems, receivers with concentrator cells shall be used. They achieve an electrical system efficiency of up to 30 per cent and can be operated at transfer fluid temperatures of up to 200° Celsius, which expands their range of use. The mirrors of the concentrator systems have a surface area of 16 square metres and reach 5 kW of electric and 7.5 kW of thermal power. Whereas the electricity generated by the concentrator cells is directly fed into the grid, the operator Yonghao Gangue Power Plant will use the co-generated heat to pre-heat feed water for the operation of a coal-fired power plant. Since this heat, with an efficiency of 10 per cent, contributes to additional electricity generation, the overall system’s total electrical efficiency is 40 per cent.
Great market opportunities in China
„We are very proud to use this new and innovative technology in our power plant”, says a visibly pleased Hongbo Kung, managing director of the Yonghao Gangue Power Plant Ltd. Together with the group Chinacoal Shanxi G-Ocean, the power plant operator has permits and plans for several hundred megawatts of solar energy. “The SunOyster systems will help us save fuel and relieve the atmosphere from carbon dioxide and fine dust, the latter of which has become so critical in China these days.”
The managing director of SunOyster Systems, Dr. Carsten Corino, sees significant market potential in China for this innovative technology: „While the German market is weakening, the Chinese solar market is making great strides at becoming the largest market in the world. The north and the west of the country have a good direct irradiation, and many coal power plants, mines and energy-intensive industries could profit from the double yield from SunOyster systems. There will be further chances for our technology in the field of sustainable building construction as China continues to urbanise.”