The Israeli firm ZenithSolar, which combines highly efficient solar electricity along with solar heating, is doing a demonstration in Australia.
ZenithSolar’s first 16-unit project has been up and running successfully in Israel for a year at Kibbutz Yavne, making electricity to sell the grid, and hot water for its 230 residents, producing at peak production 250 KW Combined Heat and Power on a relatively small footprint of only 352 square meters (3,789 square feet). Now the breakthrough Israeli firm is about to bring a high profile demo to Australia, where Greenearth Energy Australia plans to show a combined heat and power solar technology that could revolutionize solar energy.
The chosen demonstration site is on Fennell Street, in Melbourne, minutes from the downtown business district. This central demonstration site is brilliant, because so many people are so ignorant of the advances in clean technology. This busy business district site will allow potential investors, project developers, and smaller users access to see how it works.
Each unit is comprised of a pair of side-by-side parabolic mirror reflectors. Each concave mirror reflector is a small room-sized 11 square meters (118 sq ft), and mounted on a single pole.
The pole is a minimally engineered dual axis tracker, enabling the pair of mirror dishes to follow the movement of the sun all day. The mirrors reflect and concentrate the sun onto a receiver above it that has both a PV receiver and a heat exchange system, so it makes both electricity, and heat.
Each of these unit-pairs can generate 70 kilowatt-hours a day, which can be transformed to 50 kwh of cooling, or for operating a 5 KW air handling unit for 10 hours daily. Because they are modular systems, they can be built in arrays of however many are needed, for any size user, even up to utility-scale.
This is a very exciting technology. A (typical Californian) household needs to make about 15 kilowatt-hours a day, so just one of these dual-mirror units could supply four to six houses with 100% the electricity they need, and heat for all the hot water they need too.
The minimal use of silicon material means that they produce their energy for far less than solar panels, (and hot water as well) and on a smaller footprint. This could be the technology we need to bring solar energy into the mainstream.
Greenearth Energy Australia is going to be the Pacific region distributor. The geothermal giant was the first to see that this groundbreaking technology has the potential to efficiently deliver emissions-free energy and hot water to a wide range of customers throughout Australia and the Pacific region.
The uses for 72% efficient solar power combining both electricity and heat are almost limitless.
Heavy industrial users like desalination plants, paper mills, cement companies and glass makers that need heat, typically also have high carbon emissions. Hospitals, resorts, housing complexes and apartment buildings all need both heat and electricity.
Even air conditioning can be supplied with the hot water needed at 90°C to supply an absorption chiller that delivers water at 7° C.
Previous stories at Green Prophet on ZenithSolar:
ZenithSolar To Dedicate First Solar Energy Farm in Israel
ZenithSolar Makes Solar Power Affordable for Everyone
ZenithSolar – The Most Efficient Solar Energy Collector In The World?