A five megawatt (MW) pilot concentrated solar power (CSP) plant designed in SolidWorks 3D CAD software, available from Solidtec Solutions , went online during the first week of October, 2009, providing electricity to 4,000 homes near Los Angeles. California-based eSolar used SolidWorks 3D CAD software to design heliostat mirrors that reflect and concentrate sunlight to a boiler that generates steam and powers a standard turbine to create solar energy.
Key facts ·
- Funded in part by Google, eSolar is an Idealab company that develops and constructs modular, scalable solar thermal power plants.
- eSolar’s methodology standardizes heliostat production to reduce costs and development time, while simplifying deployment.
- eSolar uses 20 licenses of SolidWorks software to engineer the exact mirror specifications that can withstand extreme winds yet be light enough for easy electronic adjustment.
- By enabling eSolar engineers to calculate precise tolerances and part fits on screen, SolidWorks 3D CAD has eliminated a full prototype cycle (normally four months).
- Contract manufacturers work with eSolar’s SolidWorks designs to ensure manufacturability and ease of assembly, further streamlining development. eSolar also uses SolidWorks Workgroup PDM product data management software to ensure version control while different engineers work on the same design simultaneously. ·
- Global energy demand could double or triple by 2050, according to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. ·
- By 2020, solar energy could easily provide energy to over a billion people globally and provide 2.3 million full-time jobs, according to EPIA and Greenpeace.