World's First Hybrid Solar-Gas Turbine Power Station is Under Construction in Israel
Image via AORA
Last month in southern Israel, construction began on what will be the world's first hybrid solarized gas turbine power station. The unique design of the power station allows it to generate solar power by day and run on biofuel by night, so it provides renewable energy around the clock. But the truly intriguing part is how this hybrid solar-gas turbine works.How a Hybrid Solar Gas Turbine Power Station WorksThe concept of a solar gas hybrid turbine system has existed for years now, but this will mark the first time one has actually been built. According to AORA, the company behind the hybrid, the power station will sit on an acre of land, and will feature a field of 30 tracking mirrors, or 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.
This first hybrid power station will launch in March at Kibbutz Samar. And though many details remain vague and that this will be a test run of sorts for the technology, AORA is optimistic that its power station will improve upon existing solar power systems:
The 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.
And this means the station will supposedly be uniquely flexible, and uniquely efficient:
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.
Of course, there are still plenty of unanswered questions about the system, but it's certainly an intriguing technology put into action.
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