Container-type PV/Hot-water Supply Unit to Be Tested in Japan

2019/07/04 08:01
Sousuke Kudou, technical writer
The iU-Soala Wilsom (source: KIT)
The unfolded iU-Soala Wilsom (source: KIT)

Kanazawa Institute of Technology (KIT) announced June 24, 2019, that it has started a verification test for commercializing a container-type solar power generation (PV)/hot-water supply unit in collaboration with Actree (Hakusan City, Ishikawa Prefecture), Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST, the University of Tokyo) and Industrial Research Institute of Ishikawa (IRII).

KIT has been engaged in the establishment of a two-axis solar tracking system.

The project was selected for the "Project to Help Promote Commercialization" of Ishikawa Sunrise Industries Creation Organization (ISICO, public interest incorporated foundation), and Actree is making efforts to commercialize the PV/hot-water supply unit in two years. The company plans to release the unit as a product named "iU-Soala Wilsom" in fiscal 2020.

Because it is a container type and can be easily transported and relocated, it is expected to supply electricity and hot water at the time of natural disaster and used for outdoor events.

As a package, the unit houses a parabolic power-generation part, power conditioner, rechargeable battery for starting up the unit, etc in a 10-foot (2.9m inside) container. It is possible to operate the system immediately after unfolding the container, drastically reducing the construction cost required for systems using mounts.

Also, in the case of strong wind, heavy snow, winter season, rainy season, etc, which are not suited for power generation, it is possible to prevent the contents of the container from being damaged and deteriorated by remotely controlling the system and storing them in the container,

The two-axis solar tracking system developed by KIT has a structure that can be separated into the lower part (foundation) and upper part (movable part). The upper part rotates so that it keeps being directed at the sun. And the elevation angle of the parabolic unit can be changed for tracking the sun.

Compared with the installation on commonly-used fixed mounting systems, KIT's system can increase the annual amount of power generated by up to 100%.

Actree co-developed the "iU-Soala" solar-tracking light-collecting solar energy collection system to be set up on mounting systems in cooperation with New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and has been testing prototypes. Equipped with a parabolic condensing lens using specular reflection, it can collect 25% of concentrated solar energy as electricity and 40% as heat (high-temperature water).

The iU-Soala Wilsom was developed by solving issues revealed through the test.