Solar power

Pyron Solar, an R&D company in La Jolla, CA, has developed a novel system to convert sunlight into electricity.


Pyron Solar,

an R&D company in La Jolla, CA, has developed a novel system to convert sunlight into electricity.

The new design features a low-profile floating system with short-focal-length lenses concentrating direct sunlight by 400X onto photovoltaic cells. The company claims that the cells produce 800 times more electricity than conventional cells the same size.

The first Pyron-solar power plant with the new photovoltaic cells has been built in El CajonCA, near San Diego, CA. 23 feet in diameter and just 12 inches high, it generates 6.6 kW peak.

The photovoltaic cells are arranged in “light troughs” which are covered by lenses with extremely short focal length. These troughs are arranged on a platform mounted inside a circular ring floating on a thin layer of water.

The platform follows the azimuthal movement of the sun by turning around its vertical axis. The troughs follow the sun’s elevation by tilting around their horizontal axes. Thus the lenses always point directly at the sun.

To produce Gigawatts of electricity a large number of solar platforms could be placed close to each other into a shallow pond. A plastic membrane would separate the body of water from the soil.

Each platform would have its own tracking for azimuth and sun elevation, controlled by the platform’s sun-sensors.