Naoise Irwin, CEO, SolarfluxNaoise Irwin, CEO
It’s a little understood fact that half of global energy consumption is in the form of heat, primarily for industrial processes and building heating and cooling. With global energy consumption set to grow by another 50 percent from 2018 through 2050, the lack of compelling sustainable thermal energy sources presents a significant challenge to meeting the goals of both the Paris Accords and nations such as the US, which recently committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Furthermore, there is an urgent need for a low-cost source of sustainable energy in the developing world, where billions of people rely on locally harvested wood and biomass for basic needs such as cooking and boiling water. Unfortunately, reliance on these fuel sources results in significant damage to the local environment as well as negative health consequences for the local population. In 2019, driven by a desire to help meet these challenges, Naoise Irwin (CEO), John Fangman (CTO), and Sudhakar Neti (Chief Technical Advisor) co-founded Solarflux to market the FOCUS, a modern parabolic dish concentrator capable of providing an abundant supply of clean, low-cost thermal energy.

We provide a space-efficient, low cost, and sustainable thermal energy that can help companies improve resiliency, save money and reduce their emissions footprint


The result of a long-term research project, the FOCUS is a two-axis tracking concentrating solar power (CSP) system that employs a proprietary, patented optical design to achieve superior solar-to-thermal energy conversion relative to other solar energy technologies. “A recent performance test demonstrated that the FOCUS delivers 72 percent solar-to-thermal conversion efficiency,” says Irwin. Even the highest performing single-axis tracking systems, such as parabolic trough, can only achieve this level of efficiency with the sun directly overhead whereas the FOCUS delivers this all day long, year-round. Additionally, the FOCUS’s patented optical design, which evenly distributes the light across the central receiver, further boosts energy absorption efficiency. With a high concentration ratio, the FOCUS reaches temperatures in excess of 1500°C at the receiver, equivalent to 25 percent of the suns surface temperature, which further adds to efficiency.
While efficiency has been a key factor, the overarching design goal for the FOCUS has been minimization of lifetime cost per unit of energy. As a result of this, while the FOCUS achieves the high efficiency described above, it does so using low-cost first surface aluminum mirrors, steel castings, and highly reliable, commercially available parts. Mast-mounted, the FOCUS can be quickly installed on unprepared or sloped ground, and even on building rooftops. The FOCUS is designed for rugged field conditions, with minimal ongoing maintenance requirements. Further, due to its highly recyclable all-metal construction, the FOCUS presents no electronic waste or end-of-life challenges. FOCUS is also designed to be deployed in a modular fashion. Meaning, clients can install a few FOCUS units and easily scale to any number of units, i.e., 10 to 50 units, or more. And because the FOCUS delivers more energy per unit area, it makes better use of the space devoted to hosting the equipment. For all these reasons, the Solarflux team believes the FOCUS to be the most flexibly deployable and cost-effective solar energy technology available.
  • the Solarflux team believes the FOCUS to be the most flexibly deployable and cost-effective solar energy technology available.


Historically, CSP technologies such as parabolic troughs and power towers have largely been used to generate electricity, at utility scale. However, this application has struggled as the prices of alternative renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics and wind power have fallen over the past decade. Recognizing this, Solarflux is primarily targeting the FOCUS at distributed thermal energy applications such as agriculture, food processing, water treatment and desalination, and other industrial process heat applications. To date, the team has delivered FOCUS units to users in countries including China, India, Mexico, Qatar and the United States. “We provide a space-efficient, low cost, and sustainable thermal energy that can help companies improve resiliency, save money and reduce their emissions footprint,” concludes Irwin.