eSolar Cranks Out Alternative Energy Plant Designs in SolidWorks

New Solar Thermal Power Plant Developed in SolidWorks 3D CAD Software Goes Online Near L.A.

CONCORD, Mass. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — August 17, 2009 A five megawatt (MW) pilot concentrated solar power (CSP) plant designed in SolidWorks® 3D CAD software went online this week, providing electricity to 4,000 homes near Los Angeles. California-based eSolar used SolidWorks software to design heliostat mirrors that reflect and concentrate sunlight to a boiler that generates steam and powers a standard turbine to create solar energy.

Key facts

  • Funded in part by Google, eSolar is an Idealab company that develops and constructs modular, scalable solar thermal power plants.
  • eSolar’s methodology standardizes heliostat production to reduce costs and development time, while simplifying deployment.
  • eSolar uses 20 licenses of SolidWorks software to engineer the exact mirror specifications that can withstand extreme winds yet be light enough for easy electronic adjustment.
  • By enabling eSolar engineers to calculate precise tolerances and part fits on screen, SolidWorks has eliminated a full prototype cycle (normally four months).
  • Contract manufacturers work with eSolar’s SolidWorks designs to ensure manufacturability and ease of assembly, further streamlining development.
  • eSolar also uses SolidWorks Workgroup PDM product data management software to ensure version control while different engineers work on the same design simultaneously.
  • Global energy demand could double or triple by 2050, according to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
  • By 2020, solar energy could easily provide energy to over a billion people globally and provide 2.3 million full-time jobs, according to EPIA and Greenpeace.

From Rick Iannello, vice president of manufacturing

“As a startup company, we want to deliver our product as fast as possible. That means proving the technology and garnering interest while you still have enough capital. SolidWorks software played a critical role in helping us refine the technology quickly so we could start shopping our scalable plant design around. The result is that we’ve gone online with our pilot, and we have other projects in the works. That’s the kind of early traction we need.”

eSolar relies on authorized SolidWorks reseller GoEngineer for ongoing software training, implementation, and support.

Boilerplate statements
About eSolar

eSolar is an Idealab company founded in 2007 to develop, construct and deploy modular, scalable solar thermal power plants. eSolar's approach marries a low-impact, pre-fabricated form factor with advanced optics and computer software engineering to meet the demands of utilities of any size for clean, renewable and cost-competitive solar energy. By focusing on the key business obstacles that have characterized large solar installations — price, scalability, speed of deployment and grid impact — eSolar has developed a proprietary solution to make a dramatic reduction in the cost of solar thermal technology. eSolar is based in Pasadena, California. For more information please visit

About GoEngineer

GoEngineer Inc. is a unique business partner for companies that design, engineer, and manufacture products, helping customers enhance business processes and realize competitive advantage through their software investment. GoEngineer is a leading reseller of SolidWorks product design software. JumpStartSM is GoEngineer’s unique, fixed-priced, best-practices-based implementation service. State-of-the-art GoEngineer regional training centers located within a reasonable driving distance of major customers save on travel expense while ensuring skill levels remain high for greatest productivity. Tech support staff with real-world expertise in design, engineering, and manufacturing ensures that customers’ businesses are productive, efficient, and competitive. Over 4,000 customers have made GoEngineer their business partner. Learn more at

About Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp.

Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp., a Dassault Systèmes S.A. brand, develops and markets software for design, analysis, and product data management. It is the leading supplier of 3D CAD technology, giving teams intuitive, high-performing software that helps them design better products. For the latest news, information, or an online demonstration, visit the company’s Web site ( or call 1-800-693-9000 (outside of North America, call +1-978-371-5000).

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