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.
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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