(ZenithSolar’s Jetson-style sunshine-collecting DPV – concentrating photovoltaic – dishes in the Negev Desert)
As the old saying goes: necessity is the mother of invention. And nothing appears to be truer than in the field of alternative forms of energy, especially solar energy. An Israeli company, Zenith Solar, has announced the invention of a new type of solar energy collector that is said to be much more efficient than current photovoltaic ones.
Green Prophet has covered the Israeli solar company ZenithSolar (or Zenith Solar) a number of times. Most recently when it launched its new solar energy farm last month.
The new collection device, is a series of rotating dishes made up of mirror which are said to be able to collect as much as 75% of the sun’s energy or five times those of ordinary solar collectors. The use of mirrors will reduce the need for so many photovoltaic cells as are required in other types of solar collectors, making the new system much more affordable, and even comparable to generating electricity with fossil fuels.
Zenith Solar is working on this project along with a department at Ben Gurion University that specializes in solar energy projects. The
dishes used in the company’s pilot project are located at Kibbutz
Kvutzat Yavne, located on the country’s coastal plain, near the city
The collection “dishes” known as model Z20’s, resemble large, semi-flattened satellite communications dishes, and an area
containing 16 of these dishes will be able to generate at least half
of the total electricity needs of the entire community of 200 people.
Ron Segev, founder and CEO of Zenith Solor was quoted as saying that the new solar collection device will be able to collect and produce thermal as well as electrical energy at the same time.
Having an average of 330 days of sunlight per year has enabled Israel to be a pioneer developer of solar energy ever since the first solar water heaters were installed in 1949. From a scientific standpoint, the new system is referred to as DPV or concentrating photovoltaics.
Segev is working closely with BGU Professor Devid Faiman, who has been involved in solar energy projects at the university for years, and who invented the technology behind the company. The new collecting dish device will be able get at least 50% more energy from it in the form of hot water, which is derived from water used to cool the device.
Once the device is in operation, it will only require maintenance
costs since no fuel is needed. It will also work in places where less
sunlight is normally available. Faiman and Segev hope to be able to
sell the device to countries like the USA where large areas in the
southwest have sunlight for much of the year.
Israeli President, Shimon Peres, spoke at an inauguration for the
project, saying that this kind of energy method will reduce the
dependence on fossil fuels as well as the countries which supply them, often sponsors of terrorism.