Friday, July 01, 2005

This Sounds Promising

Solar energy stored efficiently
Pilot solar power-plant delivers promising results - Innovations Report

For the first time solar energy has been successfully used in a pilot-plant to create storable energy from a metal ore. In a project funded by the EU, the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) together with other research institutes and industrial partners, have reached an important milestone.

A 300-kilowatt pilot installation to create zinc using solar temperatures of over 1200 degrees Celsius successfully came into operation in Israel. The solar-reactor technology is Swiss developed, by the PSI and ETH Zurich, and forms the heart of the plant.

Reducing zinc oxide to zinc is a useful way of chemically storing the sun’s energy in a transportable form, for later use. Zinc can be used in zinc-air-batteries or be used to produce hydrogen by reacting it with water vapor. In both cases the zinc recombines with oxygen and zinc oxide is produced, which can be reused in the solar reactor to produce zinc once more.

"After extensive trials with reactor-prototypes at the PSI solar-oven we have, with our project partners from Sweden, France and Israel, begun to successfully operate a 300-kilowatt pilot-plant at the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) in Rehovot near Tel Aviv", explains Christian Wieckert from PSI, Scientific Coordinator of the project.

The aim is sixty-percent efficiency. - More...

Via Daily Grail

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