Our Californian Solar Concentrator turns One Year Old!

Posted Thursday 3 May 2018 by Urs Riggenbach.

The SOL5 solar concentrator we built during our Impact Residency at Pier 9 last year just turned 1. It was safely tucked away in storage taking up precious space at the Pier, but when Will and I reached the Pier last week, we were relieved that the technology easily stores and all pieces kept. We were able to assemble the SOL5 in under an hour and get it back to working temperatures! Big thanks to Sherry and Pier 9 team for taking care of it so well!

During the Impact Residency our focus was on applying CNC and other digital fabrication technologies to our manufacturing process. The CNC based fabrication method allows for super fast installation time, and all parts are now flat and shippable. One thing we didn’t have time for was a proper paint job for the SOL5, and now the bare metal pieces have caught some rust from the salty sea air.

At the time of this post, Will and I have already scrubbed down most of the rust, and will be in the shop the next 2 days doing the paint works. Happy birthday Pier 9 SOL5!

Here are few snaps from the first assembly test:

Will Cleaver inspecting the mirrors that were in storage. They have kept very well.
Urs Riggenbach, happy to see the oven functioning after a smooth assembly with all parts working.
Pointing out the rust that needs to be removed before the paint job.

Next week we’ll be taking this SOL5 on quite a ride: Roadtrip down to La Jolla, San Diego, where we’ll be showcasing it at Near Future Summit.

Before I get back to the shop, the color we are going to paint it in is: Glossy red. It’s going to look great. Stay tuned for more!


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