High temperature panels concentrate sunlight by 20 times to provide an economical boost to existing HVAC installations and a supplementary source for hot water systems.

The MCT (Micro-Concentrator) is a proven rooftop system that significantly reduces existing heating and cooling costs with simple integration into commercial building infrastructure.

Chromasun recognized this market opportunity and set out to develop a solar thermal technology that it could integrate into existing energy systems to provide reliable, scalable supplementary energy production. The concept was to develop a modular solar thermal panel that could concentrate sunlight onto a high temperature heating tube using a compact linear Fresnel reflector and single axis tracking.

Chromasun asked Simplexity for help with the development of the tracking system. They needed a low-cost, but highly reliable, tracking system to accurately rotate an array of mirrored strips that formed the core of the Fresnel reflector.

Chromasun asked Simplexity for engineering and analysis services essential in prototyping and testing their roof-top solar collector

What We Did

Simplexity started by translating the customer’s qualitative product requirements (high accuracy and high temperature) into an engineering reference specification. After doing some systems engineering and tolerance analysis, we determined that the pointing accuracy needed to be better than +/- .25 degrees and the heating tube needed to support 200˚ C fluids. While developing the product specification we also worked with Chromasun to understand the entire roadmap of future products to try make our solutions as broadly applicable as possible.

We presented several viable product concepts, and working closely with Chromasun we selected the most promising concept based upon overall development risk, performance, and ability to meet cost targets. The solution we developed had a closed-loop servo to accurately position the reflectors and a mechanism design suitable for volume production.

Simplexity provided engineering and analysis services that were essential in allowing Chromasun to quickly prototype and test competing design concepts. With Simplexity’s help we were able to resolve the many competing requirements for tracking accuracy, reliability and cost that resulted in successfully building the highest temperature roof-top solar collector on the market.

— Mikal Greaves
Co-Founder & VP Product Development, Chromasun Inc.

We don’t know of anyone who has a solar panel that creates 200-degree hot water, other than Chromasun.

— Joe Sugg
Assistant VP of Operations Santa Clara University

With Chromasun participation, Simplexity performed weighted comparisons to optimize the performance while minimizing manufacturing tolerance risk.

The End Product

Solar has the potential to be the primary power source of the future, providing clean renewable energy for a crowded world. While cost has been an impediment as fossil fuel base power is still cheaper than clean energy, clever systems such as the Chromasun MCT fit into existing infrastructure to provide a supplementary energy solution. Simplexity is proud to be a contributor to this effort.