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Directory:AORA Hybrid Solar
Page first featured July 3, 2009
Israeli company, AORA Solar, formerly known as EDIG Solar, combines a modular concentrated solar tower technology with other heat sources to enable its plants to be baseload capable, providing utility power needs 24/7/365. Each module, called a "solar flower" because of its unique yellow tulip design, is said to create 100 kW of electricity as well as 170kW of thermal power, targeting community-sized production, in contrast to the typical extremes of large utility or small residential applications.
Their approach is an innovative use of compressed (solar heated) air to drive a standard micro gas turbine. Apparently the waste heat is then used to heat water to 80 degrees for increased output, using the thermal energy for heating purposes, in addition to the electric energy output of the turbine.
The system is considered "hybrid" because it uses other methods of generating heat when the sun is not adequate. The system can operate on any fuel source (fossil fuel, biofuel) in addition to or in place of the sun. AORA launched the world’s first hybrid solar thermal power station at Kibbutz Samar in southern Israel.
How it Works
The AORA power station module fills half an acre of land, covered by thirty tracking mirrors (heliostats).
Each of the thirty heliostats tracks the sun and reflects its rays towards the top of a 30 meter-high tower. This tower contains a special solar receiver along with a 100 kilowatt gas turbine. This receiver utilizes the solar energy to heat air to a temperature of 1,000 degrees Celsius. Now this heat energy is directed into the turbine, which converts the thermal energy into electric power that will be fed directly into the national grid.
The new environmental friendly power station does not use water as steam operated turbines do, and it can be constructed in several months rather than the years it takes to build other solar power stations. This power station mainly utilizes solar energy, but it can also be run on other alternative fuels, including bio-gas, bio-diesel and natural gas. When sunlight is inadequate at night or on cloudy days the power station would be able to produce enough electricity to distribute. This power station has also incorporated the modular system to its greatest advantage. This makes it possible to purchase and operate as many 100-kilowatt modules as needed. A great advantage of the module system is that this system can continue its operation even if one or several modules need repair. 
24 JUNE 2009
Israel's 1st Solar-Thermal power station goes live.
17-19 FEB 2009
AORA was showcasing at the Eilat Energy conference, held in Eilat, Israel.
For a copy of their PowerPoint presentation at the event, click here (1.5MB).
26 JAN 2009
AORA Begins Construction of world's first Hybrid Solarized Gas Turbine Power Station.
Quoting from http://www.aora-solar.com/len/apage/40751.php
Modularity enables each base unit to be located independently with no need to allocate one large, flat, contiguous expanse of land for the whole power station. This offers great flexibility in finding suitable installation sites, as well as the benefits of scalability, where such a venture can be scaled at a later date, as required. Being modular also means offering greater reliability since servicing any of the single base units, does not require a complete shutdown of the whole system (in comparison to alternative designs that use a single large-scale power block). Having a hybrid operating system (solar/fuel/biofuel) means that power can be generated via alternative fuel sources. Operating on such a mix means that power can be supplied around the clock.
Quoting from http://www.aora-solar.com/len/apage/39940.php
AORA (formerly EDIG Solar) belongs to the EDIG group of companies, that over the last three decades, have provided engineering contracting services in the electro-mechanical sector. The group of companies have a substantial track record in executing complex engineering projects for such customers as Israel's Ministry of Defense, EL AL Israel Airlines and the National Health Service Provider.
Over the past two decades, EDIG has been providing engineering services for the Weizmann Institute of Science, where the company's solar thermal technology was originally developed. This technology was later licensed to EDIG, which continued to enhance the technology, later spinning the new solar division out into a sub-company - EDIG Solar.
After securing Series A financing in 2008, EDIG Solar rebranded itself into AORA.
In the News
- Google News > AORA solar - ~24 stories listed as of July 3, 2009.
- Top 100 / Featured: Solar > Concentrated >
AORA hybrid solar provides baseload, community power - Israeli company combines a modular concentrated solar tower technology with other heat sources to enable its plants to be baseload capable, providing utility power needs 24/7/365. Each 'solar flower' is designed to produce 100 kW of electricity as well as 170kW of thermal power, targeting community-sized production. (PESWiki; July 3, 2009)
- First Hybrid Solar Power Station - ...launched the world’s first hybrid solar thermal power station at Kibbutz Samar in southern Israel. During the inaugural launch of the powerhouse, guests from other countries such as Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Chile and Australia were also present. (Alternative Energy News; July 2, 2009)
- AORA Solar raises $5m for solar thermal technology - AORA Solar, a Yavne, Israel-based developer of solar thermal technology, announced today it has closed a $5 million Series A funding round led by EZKlein Partners, EDIG Construction, and L&Q Solar, a group of international solar energy investors. (Cleantech Israel; February 4, 2009)
See Description page
Air Storage Promising
On July 1, 2009, New Energy Congress member, Sepp Hasslberger wrote:
I would support this one as a T100 candidate, because of its innovative use of compressed (solar heated) air to drive a standard micro gas turbine. Apparently the waste heat is then used to heat water to 80 degrees for increased output, using the thermal energy for heating purposes, in addition to the electric energy output of the turbine.
I find this interesting not only for the size (in-between the small and the huge) but also for the fact that they work with air, as potentially (I am thinking) air can also be stored in fairly huge containers as compressed air to continue running the turbines in the night and when the sun doesn't shine... You don't need to have an electric utility to make use of this concept.
One point that isn't mentioned in the company's literature but which I would regard as a possibility: A number of large compressed air tanks, perhaps underground, could be used to store some of that pressure for use in times when there is no heat from the sun.
The clarity of their [web]site leaves quite some room for improvement though.
http://www.aora-solar.com/len/apage/39942.php - contact page
Offices are located in the town of Yavne, a 30-minute drive south of Tel Aviv.
2 Haprat Street, Yavne 81227, ISRAEL
Entrance B, 2nd floor
Yuval Susskind, Operations Manager
Tel: +972-8-9330309 ex216
Matthew Krieger, Ruder Finn Israel
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