The Linear Mirror consists of a matrix of simple plane mirrors (price about 20-30 €/m2). The mirrors are mounted on axes forming a plane. The incident sun rays are normal to these axes. The whole system is moved by only two small electrical motors. One motor rotates the mirrors in azimuth. The second motor controls the inclination of the plane (zenith). Each mirror rotates in two dimensions according to a function particular to this very mirror, being different for different mirrors. Still, all mirrors are rotated by only one motor, which performs a simple, possibly a linear function. For this reason the device is called “Linear Mirror”.
The mirrors follow the daily path of the sun. Each mirror has its individual axis of rotation with a particular inclination, such that the east-west rotation produces also an upward-downward movement of the mirror normal. It is due to this mechanism, that the mirrors can reflect the sun light always on the receiver during the day, with a precision of about 1 degree.
The Linear Mirror can provide thermal energy at a price lower than oil or gas. An engineering study has shown, that in mass production the linear mirror should cost not more than 200 € per m2 . That amounts to a price for heat energy of about 2 cent/kWh (over a period of 20 years). Solar panels for heating water cost about 700 € per m2 , they heat water only up to 60°C and have an efficiency of about 30% (at 60°C). Photovoltaic panels cost about 600 € per m2, their efficiency is about 20%, and it is difficult to store the energy. Conventional concentrating mirror systems are even more expensive.
The Linear Mirror can also provide electric energy from photovoltaic panels, installed in the receiver of the device (concentrating photovoltaics). And since the Linear Mirror can create high temperatures it gets easier to store the thermal energy. Therefore the Linear Mirror has the potential to substitute oil and gas in the future.