I just had a very interesting conversation on one of my favorite topics: solar thermal, or concentrated solar power (CSP). I came across Ahura Energy of Campbell, CA on the fantastic online resource OnGreen.com, and spoke with Dr. Fareed Sfard, the company’s CEO, who boasts over 20 years experience in the Solar industry.
Because we have no NDA in place at this point, Fareed needed to speak at a high level. But if what I was told is correct, the company’s patented Concentrating Solar System, that can be used in both utility scale and rooftop deployments, has a huge cost advantage over competitive approaches. “The system” (whatever this eventually turns out to be) moves the reflective and refractive elements without motors or electric actuators.
“But how?” I asked innocently. I could hear Fareed laughing politely. “That’s the secret sauce,” he chuckled. “In a given space, it produces 350% more power compared to traditional solar systems at one third the cost per kilowatt-hour.”
“Well, Dr. Sfard, I know some people at Ausra, which, of course, was sold last year to Areva. I’m sure I could arrange a conversation, if you’re interested in selling or licensing your technology.”
“That would be possible, though they see us as a threat,” he allowed.
“I would hope they do, sir! That’s a good thing,” I replied. “In my experience, that’s the impetus behind most deals. Until business people are threatened, there’s no motive to deal with the problem,” I replied.
We’ll see where this goes.
Interested parties may wish to contact Fareed; if you do, expect to find an extremely bright and charming guy. But don’t expect him to give up the recipe for the sauce.