ADI Solar's Formidable Array of Capabilities
New Product Development
ADI Solar’s team has demonstrated their expertise in innovative alternative energy engineering with a unique combination of groundbreaking new products. Each of these products is well integrated into a market strategy that will dominate the alternative energy field. With over 50 years’ experience in new product development, the team has an innate, well-practiced synergy of creative style.
Innovative, Cost Efficient Design
Through engineering innovation, ADI Solar achieves an order of magnitude product improvement over the existing market. Its patented solar thermal reactor introduces a tenfold reduction in material cost and greater ease of operation. Its side-focusing heliostat enables a 30% reduction in mirror size and a lighter support structure.
If Necessity is the mother of invention, then Science is its genetic code, defining its limits and shaping its destiny. ADI Solar's talent for innovation rests upon its strong foundations in the sciences; In particular, those of chemistry, solar optics, materials, structures, thermodyanamics, and aero/astro-dynamics.
The speed at which ideas become reality is reflected in the company’s impressive rapid prototyping capability. Using CAD software Pro-E, hardware physical requirements are quickly transformed into electronic part representations with comprehensive accurate dimensions and guaranteed perfect fit in assembly. These part definitions are used to create cutting routines on CNC mills and lathes; cutting parts from metal blanks. These custom parts are then assembled and scheduled for testing. CNC machining of parts gives direct feedback on the complexity of the design and time to manufacture, which is very important for low-cost engineering.
In the high temperature environment of Solar Thermal, incorporating modern alloy technology into our designs gives us a competitive edge. ADI Solar uses cutting-edge alloys from Rolled Alloys and Haynes International, and has the capability to perform most of its critical assembly techniques in house, reducing process delays. Capabilities include welding, vacuum brazing, and diffusion bonding. Electron beam welding and sacrificial casting are currently contracted with companies such as Electron Beam Welding of Buena Vista, CA and Precision Cast Molding of Portland, OR.
Extreme Pressure Vessels, Hermetic Seals
ADI Solar's keystone technology, the calcium hydride thermal reactor, relies on hermetic seals to both contain the hydrogen and calcium reactants and keep them pure. Hydrogen containment can be difficult, especially at high temperatures, where stainless steel alloys can become porous to hydrogen gas. ADI has garnered substantial experience in both hydrogen and helium containment through its extensive Stirling engine development program,) and has controlled this problem by means of proprietary technologies.
ADI Solar's side-focusing heliostat relies upon six compact actuators to aim and focus its concentrated solar beam upon the central thermal reactor. These actuators maintain six rotational angles that are mathematically determined vs time for a given latitude and longitude. While critical to product reliability, this is a mature technology and the accuracy issue poses little, if any, risk to the venture’s success.
ADI Solar’s heliostat concentrates the sun’s rays into a beam that shines the energy of 60 suns into its solar thermal reactor. The reactor operates at a temperature of 2,000 deg F. ADI Solar has learned how to effectively manage this heat using heat exchangers, heat pipes, and modern insulation, technologies it has mastered from its extensive experience developing the ultra-high temperature Dual Shell Stirling heat engine.
Before a product is ready for market, it must be run through an exhaustive set of tests to prove performance, structural integrity, endurance and failure modes. During its engine development program, ADI Solar became expert in test instrumentation, high speed data collection, and high volume data reduction.