CANOGA PARK, Calif. – The Environmental Security Technology Certification Program office of the Department of Defense has awarded Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne approximately $2.3 million to design and develop a 200-kilowatt high-concentration photovoltaic solar-power field on one acre at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
The project is designed to demonstrate the high-performance and cost-effectiveness of HCPV technology for use at DOD installations, and ultimately large utilities and other industrial applications. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp.
“We’re honored the Department of Defense has chosen Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne to further demonstrate this revolutionary technology, which provides clean energy and shines a light on greater energy independence and energy security,” said Neeta Patel, director, Energy Systems, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne.
The solar field will include a dozen commercial-scale dual-axis HCPV units that track the sun from sunrise to sunset, feeding the electrical grid rather than relying on the local utility company. Each unit contains about 60 square meters of the HCPV modules, manufactured by Semprius, Inc., of Durham, N.C. The modules have a concentration ratio of 1,111 suns.
The project will also include a 200-kilowatt lithium-ion battery unit. As part of the contract award, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne will perform field layout, systems integration, energy storage integration, and lead development and test of the HCPV/storage hardware, using cost and performance-optimization models already proven on the International Space Station and in smaller technology demonstrations at the University of Alabama-Huntsville.