Eco Factor: Low-output CSP systems for individual institutions.

In a bid to bring affordable energy solutions to off-the-grid areas of the world, student researchers at MIT have developed a small scale CSP (Concentrated Solar Power) system that can generate up to 5KW of green power. The system has been designed by doctoral students Amy Mueller and Matt Orosz at MIT and has won the prestigious EPA award.

The system works on the same principal as other multi-megawatt CSP power plants being constructed the world over. However, the system had to be scaled down to reduce its output to match it with the needs of individual institutions like schools or clinics. This reduction in scale has also reduced the cost of the plant, making it a viable option for developing nations. The EPA award also includes a $75,000 grant that will be used to install the system at a clinic later this year.