Each pre-engineered 247Solar Plant consists of five subsystem assemblies:

1) About 4 acres (<2 hectares) of heliostats (pole-mounted, solar mirrors from a third-party vendor) that track the sun and focus ~1500 suns of energy onto...

2) …an innovative high-temperature, air-heating 247Solar Receiver™, where air is heated at very low, near-zero pressure to 970 ℃. The Receiver is mounted on…

3) …a conventional tower system (~125 ft, ~35 m) that is shipped from a factory, ideally, as fully assembled as possible, including ducting, blowers, electrical, etc. Toward the bottom of the tower, some of the hot air goes to...

4) …an off-the- shelf, 400 kWe “microturbine” package, or 247Solar Power Block™ that is shipped operation-ready with generator and power electronics for quick grid connection and very high reliability. Microturbines use compressed hot air rather than steam, require just 4-8 hr/yr of maintenance, and have overhaul schedules of 23 50,000 hours. The package also includes the 247Solar Heat Exchanger™, which transfers the solar heat from the low-pressure air to the compressed air from the turbine's compressor. An inline 247Solar Combustor™ burns a range of fuels to heat the air if it is not hot enough to power the turbine.

5) The rest of the low-pressure hot air from the solar receiver goes to a ~10 to 15 hour 247Solar Thermal Storage System™, which powers the turbine when the sun is not shining. The 247Solar Plant’s hot air heats “dry” storage such as firebrick or small pieces of ceramic rather than molten salts typical of other CSP systems. If desired, the turbine burns conventional fuels or biofuels (liquid or gaseous) when the thermal storage system is depleted.

An illustration of the 247Solar Plant in three dimensions

Note that the system’s exhaust waste heat can be used for a variety of purposes, e.g., to drive a bottoming cycle (e.g., an ORC) for additional power; for process steam; for water purification or desalination; for crop drying; for driving absorption chillers; etc.


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