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There are two key factors in the IAUS technology that enable a cost-effective conversion of solar energy into usable power: their thin-film solar collectors, and their bladeless turbines, which have a much wider application than just converting solar thermal energy to electricity.
The company also will be combining this new development with existing catalytic technology to generate methanol fuel cleanly from carbon dioxide and hydrogen. All this can be done at a price comparable to gasoline, if not even a little less expensive, considering the present high price of gasoline.
The solar collectors do not operate as photovoltaic cells. Rather, the sun's rays focus onto a heat exchanger which then transfers the heat to a highly efficient turbine, which in turn hooks directly to a regular AC electricity generator.
Solar panels resemble magnifying glass lenses. Approximately 1/8-inch thick, resilient material, withstands strong winds.
Though the panels resemble a magnifying glass, they are in fact composed of thousands of microscopic refracting lenses on a thin substrate that is only about 1/8th of an inch thick, and held in place by a frame. The "thin film" manufacturing process is far less expensive than the photovoltaic cell manufacturing process.
The prototype is rectangular in shape, with 15 panels on each half, each focusing on a separate heat exchanger that will reach around 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, driving the turbine.
However, the manufactured product will be shaped like an octagon, about 22 feet in diameter; and will focus all the rays on a larger heat exchanger, which could get as hot as 4000 ºF. That unit will put out about 6-10 kilowatts of AC power, enough to power a few homes.