SolarMarine: The New Dimension In Solar Technology


Photovoltaic Power Plant with stationary means to track the sun’s elevation;

The most economical system to generate solar electricity

SolarMarine platform, floating on a thin, totally sealed layer of water, rotates around its vertical axis at an angular velocity equal to the azimuthal movement of the sun, concentrating the sun’s radiation on high performance photovoltaic cells.

Prototype in California with full size concentrator troughs. The walls of the above troughs are made from acrylic instead of aluminum so that the inside is visible during development.

 Table Of Contents:

Major Advantages. 2

Optical Tracking. 3

Path Of Rays. 4

Platform Design. 5

Prototype. 6

Competitors. 7

Expert Opinions. 8

Contact Information. 9

SolarMarine:  The new dimension in solar technology

According to today’s knowledge, economical solar electric conversion is only possible with concentrator cells because they can produce up to 2000 times more electricity per square unit when compared to one-sun-cells. However, the concentrating systems on the market today have not brought a breakthrough for solar electricity production because:

All previous concentrating solar plants have four draw­backs in common:

·         The tracking of the sun’s elevation requires costly tilting mechanisms, like astronomical telescopes.

·         The high profile drag resistance of the units needs sturdy structures to withstand the hundred years wind.

·         The shading of neighboring modules results in a site area which is at least 280% of the active aperture area.

·         The high temperature of the air-cooled photovoltaic cells causes a considerable reduction in efficiency.

Optical tracking eliminates all four drawbacks:

·         Optical tracking takes the place of mechanical tilting mechanisms.

·         The horizontally aligned platform has no drag resistance against wind forces.

·         The concentrator channels do not shade each other, the site area is only 16% larger than the active aperture area.

·         The water layer that absorbs the waste heat of the cells during the day is cooled by the wind passing through the air ducts during the night.

The modularity and ease of maintenance makes SolarMarine ideally suited for remote and dispersed applications. However, it can also provide end-of-the-line electricity to utilities. In areas with more than 2,800 hours of sunshine per year, SOLARMARINE can produce as much electricity as the largest CO2-producing power plants if sufficient units are tied together.

Optical Tracking: Boost Performance and Reduce Costs

The Laing-lens consists of two sheets; the upper one has a smooth upper surface and prisms on its lower surface with multi – sloped facets. The lower sheet has prisms on its upper side whose upper vertex touches the prisms of the upper sheet at a point, where the facet slope changes. The lower surface of the lower sheet is formed as a fresnel lens.

The majority of the sun’s rays impinging at a sun height of 65º exit the Laing lens vertically. A small portion of the rays exits under ±7º.

All sun rays impinging on the Laing-lens at an angular interval of 56º will be compressed by the prisms of the Laing-lens into a narrow angular interval.

Sun elevation 81º

Sun elevation 60º

Sun elevation 40º

All of the concentrated rays of the shown sun elevations impinge on the secondary concentrator where they are further concentrated before striking the photovoltaic cells.

The Laing-lens refracts incoming sun rays downwards within the an­gular interval between the useful morning or evening sun-elevation and high noon, so that the changing elevation of the sun does not require any mechanical tracking means. In addition, the rays emerging from the Laing-lens are refracted and reflected by internal reflection in the secondary concentrator in such a way that the sun’s radiation impinges with a concentration of up to 400 suns on the photovoltaic cells.

The concentrator troughs form a horizontal platform floating on a thin layer of water. The platform turns with the angular velocity of the sun’s azimuth. The roof of the troughs is formed by an outer Laing lens-layer, which together with a second lens-layer compresses the elevation range of the solar rays and deflects the rays towards the vertical. The downward facing surface of the second layer has fresnel prisms that concentrate the sun’s rays onto a focal line, where a secondary optic provides additional concentration before the rays impinge on photovoltaic cells with 32% efficiency. The waste heat of these cells is absorbed by the water layer, which dissipates the heat over 24 hours, making use of the low air temperature during the night hours. Over night the platform follows the wind direction so that the wind flows through the air ducts between the troughs to achieve maximum heat dissipation. At sunrise the platform turns back into its morning position. A platform for 100 kWp will have a radius of 12.6 m based on an insolation of 1000 W per square meter.

In California a prototype was built with full size concentrator troughs. The walls of the above troughs are made from acrylic instead of aluminum so that the inside is visible during development. The installation is successfully working and helps fine tuning all components of the system.

While the full size platform will float on a thin layer of water, the platform of the prototype is rotatable around its vertical axis. The azimuthal tracking of the platform is performed by a gear motor which is controlled by a sun-finder.

SolarMarine wins the comparison with the most widely known solar power plants

“Optical tracking” surpasses the site utilization performance of all solar electricity generators, as the following comparison shows:


m2 per kW




















All data contained herein are based on 1,000 W direct beam insolation per square meter. The high performance of the SOLARMARINE plant is also due to the new photovoltaic cells. The efficiency of the cells used in SOLARMARINE plant is 32%.

The main advantage of the Laing lenses beside the omission of tilting mechanisms is the elimination of shading between adjacent solar concentrators. This results in a total area requirement, which is only a few percent larger than the active aperture surface. The diagram shows the superiority of SolarMarine over the most famous solar electricity generators.

“With the optical tracking of the SOLARMARINE power plant the breakthrough to a competitive solar electricity production has been achieved.” Prof. Hartmut Hensel, Dean of Electrical Engineering, Hannover.

“Without any doubt the SOLARMARINE system ranges at the top of all known concepts, it could become the “Tin-Lizzy” of the solar age.” Felix Paturi, Expert in Environmental Technologies.


“With Laing’s ‘optical tracking’ a development has been started which will create a breakthrough for solar power generation”. Professor Dr. Hans Kleinwächter, Co-founder of ‘ Association for Solar Energy’.

“The SolarMarine System is the first design I have seen that offers cost-effective and reliable solar electricity with low maintenance and long life.” Bill Parkyn, Expert for non imaging optics.

“I did not find a second energy project which in the long run will have a higher ecological value.” Professor Dr.Dr. H.F. Mataré, Director International Solid State Electronic Consultants, Malibu.

If you are interested

  • to learn more about SolarMarine
  • to invest in the prototype project
  • to join the team

Please do not hesitate to contact us. We will appreciate your interest.


La Jolla, California

Fax No. (858) 454-7198


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