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Published on October 31st, 2012 | by Glenn Meyers


Israeli CSP Developer AORA Solar Re-Commissions Tulip Solar Power Station in Samar

October 31st, 2012 by  

AORA Solar, an innovative Israeli concentrating solar power (CSP) grid solutions developer, has undertaken the re-commissioning of its solar power station in Samar, Israel. Much of the re-commissioning work being undertaken is based on the company’s demonstration project in Almeria, Spain that opened last February.

Appealing 100 kW Tulip system is capable of 24/7 power generation for off-grid solutions

The Samar plant, which opened in 2009 and does not require the use of water, has been retrofitted to reflect a new mirror configuration with lighter, easier-to-control mirrors. Specifically, 30 mirrors have been replaced with 50 mirrors. The Almeria site – located further north – features 52 mirrors.

“Tulip has unique capabilities that allow it to function in ways that are both effective and game-changing,” AORA’s CEO, Zev Rosenzweig, told CleanTechnica. “Our hybrid approach allows for continuous electricity generation and enables us to build out a customer solution in a modular fashion, providing energy within several months of groundbreaking with the ability to expand the generation capacity as demand grows over time.”

The unusual hybrid Tulip system is capable of producing electricity 24/7 by utilizing a gas turbine that can burn a variety of fuels (including biogas, biodiesel, and natural gas) during non-solar hours. Beyond producing 100 kW of electricity, the station produces 170 kW of thermal energy that can power a range of secondary processes, such as desalination or large-scale air conditioning.

In an interview, Rosenzweig said: “The Samar plant is basically a take-off from Almeria.”

The next challenge involves marketing and selling the modular low-cost technology. “I’d love to sell some,” he added, saying that the company is putting a lot of effort into marketing, focusing on its niche – users without a well-developed grid.

AORA presently uses diesel fuel to power the Tulip during non-sun hours. Diesel, however, is “the least best fuel,” observes Rosenzweig, who envisions biogas as the eventual sustainable fuel complement for the Tulip system. The company is presently developing a biogas demonstration in Italy over the next six to nine months, working with an outside biogas expert that can help develop on-site green fuel.

Rosenzweig plans a demonstration in the United States, especially in the Southwest, in partnership with a university perhaps deploying Tulip systems that can generate energy revenue for the participating school. Bottom line, he adds: “I need to become bankable in the U.S.”

Source: AORA Solar

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About the Author

is a writer, producer, and director. Meyers was editor and site director of Green Building Elements, a contributing writer for CleanTechnica, and is founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he’s been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.

  • Sorry Bull s..t meter just went off. This is not 24/7 solar system. It CSP with another system to back up the rest of the time. Diesel generator backup is not 24/7 solar. Maybe the CSP portion is good maybe not, maybe it beats other CSP maybe not. No claims on that front, but the big selling point is bull. Not saying it has to be 24/7, but isn’t there enought smoke and mirrors confusing people already without claiming that diesel is a green power sourse.

    • GRM

      We understand that solar systems don’t operate on a 24/7 basis. We re interested in reporting on sustainable solutions that can ultimately function on a 24/7 basis without damage to the climate. Isn’t that what any green energy development should be about?

    • dynamo.joe

      I’m not sure if you have something against these guys or just poor reading skills. No where does it say it is a 24/7 solar solution. It says it is a 24/7 electrical power generator.

      When it is sunny it generates that power via a solar heated turbine. When it is cloudy or at night it can run that exact same turbine by injecting a fuel, any fuel.

      Nor did they claim diesel was a green power source. Although I suppose bio-diesel could be. The secondary fuel source could be anything, methane from a landfill, natural gas from fracking, the gasoline they siponed out of your car, etc. If it was built to meet max demand scenarios they could even use the excess capacity during the rest of the day to split water and run on hydrogen.

  • GRM

    when this company gets the biofuel component worked out, this will be a fabulous sustainable energy solution.

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