ISRAEL 
HIGH-TECH & INVESTMENT REPORT

from the March 2012 issue


Plant that needs little water and can flourish at night

Like other concentrating solar power (CSP) tower systems around the world, Aora's tulip-shaped "power flower" uses a field of heliostats to focus sunlight on to a receiver unit positioned at the top of a pillar structure, where the energy is converted to turn an electricity-generating turbine.

Distinct from other tower-based CSP technologies, each 100kW unit features a solar-radiation "funnel" fitted with a conical quartz window that refracts the light and heat on to a volumetric "porcupine" receiver whose "quills" transfer energy into pressurized air - not water, as in other CSP towers - that climbs to a temperature of 1,000íC before being channeled into a combustor and then across the blades of a Braxton thermodynamic cycle micro-turbine to create electricity.

Employing hot air rather than steam to power turbines means an array will use only 230 liters of water per MWh.

The power flower plant is a hybrid design, meaning the turbine can run solely on solar power, or use alternative fuels, including biogas. This way, it can produce power in "solar only" mode when there is sufficient sunshine, or draw power from biofuel in "hybrid mode" on overcast days or during the night.

Each power flower also generates 170kW of thermal "waste" heat that can be used in absorption chillers, hot-water production for industrial facilities, and desalination plants.



Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report March 2012

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