Teknor Apex and Hyperlight Energy create plastic solar power tech
As companies all over the globe are working hard to make the process of extracting oil and gas cleaner, US plastic compounder Teknor Apex partnered Hyperlight Energy to develop a concentrated solar power (CSP) system to sustainably and affordably decarbonise oil recovery. CSP projects are usually made of steel and look like massive fields of mirrors with one tall tower in the middle.
Traditional CSP projects have to operate at massive scale and can use a Golden Gate bridge’s worth of steel. Hyperlight developed an affordable and reliable CSP system, called Hylux, using domestically produced, recyclable tubes made from Teknor Apex vinyl compounds. Hyperlight uses the Apex compound to extrude a hollow profile to hold the mirrors for the photovoltaic technology – completely replacing the traditional steel. The Teknor Apex compound contributes to this sustainable solution while providing other key benefits such as UV stability – ensuring no cracking or degradation over time.
“Today we have a simple, robust, low-cost system that eliminates 90 percent of the expensive steel and concrete of traditional CSP by replacing that with plastic,” said John King, Hyperlight CEO. “The team at Teknor was incredible in our development – offering their full support and process engineering knowledge at every step of our project to optimize the end result. Their technical support and materials solutions enabled us to achieve unprecedented level performance. They have been an important partner and have been able to scale to our requirements.”
After more than a decade of R&D, Hyperlight says it has demonstrated the technology in multiple successive generations, at a fraction of the size of traditional CSP projects.
Teknor Apex Company, a privately held firm founded in 1924, is one of the world’s leading custom compounders of plastics. Teknor Apex produces flexible and rigid vinyl, thermoplastic elastomers, nylons, colour masterbatches, specialty chemicals, and hoses. The company is headquartered in Pawtucket, RI, US, and operates 13 manufacturing facilities worldwide in the US, Belgium, Germany, China, and Singapore.
Hyperlight Energy manufactures Hylux, its flagship product, in its San Diego-based manufacturing plant out of domestically sourced recyclable plastic tubes.
This new, unique American-made renewable energy technology is quite different and was just featured in Advancements hosted by Ted Danson, which aired on CNBC recently.