A version of this story originally appeared on NoCamels – Israeli Innovation News
By David Allouche
The Israeli company AORA Solar will soon be opening its second solar power station in southern Spain. The thermodynamic solar plant was constructed in the city of Almeria, on the Mediterranean coast, and will be inaugurated on February 7th 2012.
The plant is situated in a complex of 2,000 square meters. It is expected to produce 100 Kilowatt (KW) of electricity per hour for the domestic needs of the region’s population, as well as 170 KW per hour of heat energy as a byproduct, which will be used to power an adjacent desalination facility.
AORA Solar is using concentrated solar power (CSP) and opened its first plant in in 2009 at Kibbutz Samar next to Eilat, in the south of Israel. It is in the exact same architecture and dimensions as the new plant in Almeria.
“100 KW has the potential to produce electricity for 80 homes. This new Solar Plant will show the efficiency of the design of our solar thermodynamic plant outside the country,” said CEO of AORA , Zev Rosenzweig, to the Jerusalem Post.
AORA’s plant contains a hybrid system which is able to function using solar energy during daytime and fuel during the night, or with a combination of both sources during cloudy days, for example. Currently, the plant is using diesel, but according to AORA the company aims to switch to natural gas in the future.
Each of the plant’s panels can track the motion of the sun along two axes and directs the sun’s light to a tower that rises to the height of 35 meters. In this tower there is a solar receiver that utilizes the sunrays to heat the air to1,000 degrees Celsius. This thermal energy is then directed into a gas turbine which converts it into electricity.