Place a solar thermal collector on the highest building in a city. Then assemble a distributed array of mirrors on surrounding rooftops. With dual-axis tracking, the mirrors can direct sunlight to the central collector based on two signals: 1) a photosensor that follows the sun and 2) a periodic wireless signal from the collector.
Each distributed mirror is independently managed by a small photovoltaic-powered control system, so there are no wires to run, no infrastructure, no hassle. You simply lease a plot of roof space from your neighbors and grab the economies of scale offered by concentrated solar power. Apply solar-thermal technology at the collector to boil a working fluid and turn a turbine/generator.
CATEGORY: Energy/Business Idea
IDEATION: January 13, 2009.