AORA Solar has announced that it will begin construction of its solar-biogas power plants in Ethiopia. Construction of the first pilot plant will start by mid-2015. Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy has stated that ” AORA’s unique solar-hybrid technology is impressive and well-suited to provide both energy and heat to support local economic development in off-grid rural locations in Ethiopia.” AORA currently already has active sites in Samar, Israel and Almeria, Spain. Scroll down for photos and video.
What is AORA’s Tulip Hybrid System? A lens in the tulip-shaped tower receives concentrated solar rays that are reflected off of 50 mirrors. Behind the lens, the 1000 Celsius temperature is used to heat the pressurized air, resulting in a hot pressurized gas. This gas is then used to turn the blades of a turbine to generate electricity. The mirrors are synchronized to constantly follow the sun’s rays, directing the light toward the tower’s lens at all times.
During cloudy weather or nightfall, the tower’s turbine automatically switch to using biofuels or traditional fuels to heat the air inside and power the turbine. This allows the tower to continue producing energy 24/7. Unlike conventional solar thermal systems that use steam to drive large turbines, the Tulip requires only 8% of the amount of water, making it perfect for desert regions.
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