CSP Library

FULL-SPECTRUM OPTIMIZED CONVERSION AND UTILIZATION OF SUNLIGHT (FOCUS)

Publishing date: July 2013

The overarching objective of the FOCUS Program is to create disruptive new solar energy conversion and storage technology options that enable far higher penetration of solar energy into the U.S. energy system than could be expected using only today’s PV, CSP and electrical storage options. Technical pathways to this goal include: 1) concentrating hybrid solar energy converters that optimize the utilization of the entire solar spectrum by inexpensively converting sunlight to both heat and electricity; and 2) inexpensive hybrid energy storage devices that require both electricity and heat as inputs, with electricity as the output. At technology maturity, energy systems incorporating these advanced converters and storage devices will be cost-competitive with other solutions: for example, electricity projects at utility scale will make dispatchable solar electricity competitive with conventional generation. A subsidiary objective of the FOCUS Program is to form a diverse research community (including, e.g., CSP mechanical engineers, PV semiconductor materials and device scientists, optics/photonics experts, chemists, low-cost manufacturing experts and system integrators) who will innovate together. Successful FOCUS projects will reduce energy-related emissions, decrease U.S. dependence on foreign energy sources, and provide U.S. leadership in advanced solar energy technology.

 

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