Israel gets the world’s first hybrid solarized gas turbine power station

by Antonio Pasolini on February 25, 2009

CB015977AORA, a leading developer of applied ultra-high temperature concentrating solar power (CSP) technology from Israel, has begun construction on the world’s first gas turbine solar thermal power station at Kibbutz Samar in Israel’s southern Arava region. Completion scheduled for March.

AORA’s modular energy generating system is designed to require less land while generating more usable power and heat at a lower cost than other solar energy systems. The hybrid approach enables the system to run on solar radiation input, as well as almost any alternative fuel, including biogas, biodiesel and natural gas. This enables a variety of operation modes – from solar-only mode, where electricity is supplied when there is ample sunlight, to hybrid mode, where fuel helps generate electricity when sunlight is insufficient, such as at night or when it is cloudy, guaranteeing an uninterrupted green power supply 24 hours a day.

“We are very excited to begin construction on the world’s first hybrid solar gas turbine power station and we look forward to launching our station at the end of March,” says AORA’s CEOHaim Fried. “Our technology and scalable solutions can be easily customized for a variety of applications and environments. I believe this pre-production unit will be the first of many future installations world-wide.”

The Samar power station, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of March, is situated on half an acre of land and consists of a field of 30 tracking mirrors (heliostats). Each heliostat will follow the sun and direct its rays towards the top of a 30 meter-high tower housing a special solar receiver along with a 100kw gas turbine. The patented receiver will use the sun’s energy to heat air to a temperature of 1,000 degrees Celsius and direct this energy into the turbine. The turbine will in turn convert this tremendous thermal energy into electric power that will be fed directly into the national grid.

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