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Published on April 15th, 2014 | by Scott Cooney


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

April 15th, 2014 by  

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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About the Author

Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is a serial eco-entrepreneur hellbent on making the world a better place for all its residents. After starting and selling two mission driven companies, Scott started a third and lost his shirt. After that, he bought a new shirt at Goodwill and started this media company and once it was making enough, he 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, by the end of 2019, performed efficiency retrofits on more than 13,000 homes and small businesses, saving customers more than $3.3 million a year on their utilities. Because he's sadistic, he then started a zero waste, organic, locally made personal care line. Scott's also addicted to producing stuff and teaching people--he was an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, green business startup coach, author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and Green Living Ideas, and developer of the sustainability board game GBO Hawai'i.

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