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Solar Hybrid Technology Capable of 24/7 Power Generation (CT Exclusive Video)

Aora Solar’s TulipTM System is a groundbreaking technology that can provide clean power 24/7 with none of the intermittency of other large-scale solar developments. It’s also gorgeous.

Aora Solar Arava Valley Israel

Image Credit: Scott Cooney / Important Media

The technology is founded on reflecting mirrors that track the sun and concentrate the sun’s energy into the receiving tower:

Aora solar grid Arava Valley Israel

Image Credit: Scott Cooney / Important Media

It’s a fairly normal distributed solar thermal (DST) technology, which offers an important benefit over solar PV power plants. Because the tower is producing energy from the heat rather than the sun’s rays, 24-hour power is possible within the same system by using alternative fuels during the off hours (nighttime). Aora’s technology has quick-response heat augmentation capability, burning fuel to provide constant heat inputs to the turbine.

Another major advantage of the Aora TulipTM System is that it uses hot air to power the microturbines, rather than steam. According to the company, this means it requires just 8% of the amount of water that traditional CSP steam technologies use. In arid environments, like Israel’s central Arava Valley, that’s a critical advantage.

Recently, Aora Solar teamed up with Arizona State University to help power the campus with DST technology. Arizona is one of the hottest markets for solar in the US, but it’s also an extremely arid environment, prone to wildfires and at high risk from droughts.

To give you a better sense of how the technology works, I interviewed William Weisinger of Aora Solar on a recent trip to Israel:

The small test array there is only capable of powering 30 homes in the developed world, but the modular capability, 24/7 power generation potential, and lack of water consumption make this a very attractive clean technology with a scalable solution for many applications around the world.

Find out more about Aora Solar here.

Check out a list of other cool cleantech innovations from my recent Israel trip (as part of a sustainable blogger tour, courtesy of Kinetis, which arranged the visit for me) here:

Kibbutz Lotan: An Embodiment of Being an EdenKeeper (from EdenKeeper.org)

Ariel Sharon Park, A Revolution in Waste Management and Urban Planning (from PlanetSave.com)

Agriculture Where Plants Can’t Grow: Israel’s Arava Valley (from Inspired Economist)

Israel’s First LEED Platinum Building Underway: A Living Laboratory for Environmental Studies (from Green Building Elements)

Coolest Passive Cooling Tower You’ll Ever See (from Green Building Elements)

 
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Written By

Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is a serial eco-entrepreneur focused on making the world a better place for all its residents. Scott is the founder of CleanTechnica and was just smart enough to hire someone smarter than him to run it. He then started Pono Home, a service that greens homes, which has performed efficiency retrofits on more than 13,000 homes and small businesses, reducing carbon pollution by more than 17 million pounds a year and saving customers more than $6.3 million a year on their utilities. In a previous life, Scott was an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, and author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill) , and Green Living Ideas.

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