Israeli startup HelioFocus has signed a contract with the global company Capstone Turbine Corporation, a manufacturer of microturbine energy systems, for the development and modification of Capstone Turbine's C65 MicroTurbine operating on solar energy.
Under the initial phase of development, Capstone will make modifications on the existing microturbine operating on superheated air and integrate the microturbine with the HelioFocus solar concentrator system.
The HelioFocus Solar Concentrator focuses enough sunlight energy to provide an equivalent amount of combustion heat to drive the microturbine. This fuel-free renewable solution offers higher solar conversion efficiencies over traditional solar photovoltaic systems. In addition the system's increased power density should reduce area required for hosting these systems.
HelioFocus is developing modular high-efficiency solar thermal solutions for utilities, large businesses and independent power producers (IPP). The company responds to a multibillion-dollar solar market worldwide, encompassing a demand for more than 10,000 megawatts in the US southwest and south Europe alone.
HelioFocus was founded in 2007 to leverage its unique technology of air heating to more than 1,0000C using concentrated sunlight. The elevated temperature enables a high system efficiency of more than 25% and makes possible, for the first time, a combined cycle of air-turbine and steam-turbine that uses concentrated sun light as a source of heat instead of fossil fuel. Enabling such a solarized combined cycle has been the aspiration of the solar industry for many years, since this combined cycle is the most efficient fossil-based power generation concept.
HelioFocus' unique product – the HF 210 – combines very high optical and thermal efficiencies. It comprises a
large parabolic mirror for concentrating sunlight onto a proprietary receiver where pressurized working fluid
(e.g. air) can be heated to a temperature of more than 1,000°C. The compressed hot air exiting the receiver
drives a turbo generator. This unique technology is a result of two decades of research at the Weizmann
Institute of Science and is exclusively licensed to HelioFocus.
In Jan 2008, HelioFocus completed a strategic investment by IC Green Energy (ICG) a subsidiary of Israel
Corp, Israel’s largest holding company.