from the September 2009 issue

AORA launches first hybrid solarized gas turbine power station

AORA, a developer of applied ultra-high temperature concentrating solar power (CSP) technology, launched the world's first hybrid solar thermal gas turbine power station at Kibbutz Samar in southern Israel.

This marks the first time that a CSP solar power station has the capability of providing environmentally-friendly, or "green" power 24 hours a day, seven days a week - at a local level.

"The size and relative price of our solar power system means it can be implemented in local as well as large-area instillations," said Haim Fried, AORA's CEO. "Today marks the beginning of a new era for solar energy, where any city, town or village can now consider AORA for its energy needs, due to the attainable price point and build-out time of just several months, versus other CSP timelines of several years."

AORA's Samar "Power Flower" station - so named due to the unique yellow tulip design concept created by architect Haim Dotan for the plant's solar tower - consists of a field of 30 tracking mirrors (heliostats) situated on half an acre of land. The power module is expected to supply 100 kW of power to the national grid, enough to sustain approximately 70 households. Each of the station's 30 heliostats tracks the sun and reflects 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 uses the sun's energy to heat air to a temperature of 1,000 degrees Celsius and directs this energy into the turbine. The turbine converts the thermal energy into electric power that will be fed directly into the national grid.

AORA's hybrid approach allows the system to run on solar radiation input, as well as almost any alternative fuel, including biogas, biodiesel and natural gas. This flexibility enables the module to run in 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. This capability offers uninterrupted, green power 24 hours-a-day.

At the launch, Chile-based CAM, an integrated energy solutions company, signed an agreement with AORA giving CAM the exclusive rights to market, distribute and construct AORA's technology in Chile while Greenearth Energy Ltd, a green energy company based in Melbourne, signed an agreement with AORA to exclusively market and distribute the company's technology across Australia.

Additionally, AORA and the Spanish company AORA SL signed an MOU awarding AORA SL the right to sell the technology in Spain and Portugal.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report September 2009

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