HelioFocus has ordered Capstone Turbine Corporation to develop and modify their C65 (65 kW) MicroTurbine to operate on solar power.
HelioFocus has been founded in 2007, is based in Israel, and it produces modular, high efficiency Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) systems to convert the sunlight to electricity. They use a parabolic concentrator which focuses the light onto a solar receiver. The solar receiver is heat-based, and it drives Capstone’s modified turbine.
In a first stage, Capstone will make modifications to their already working micro-turbine to work with superheated air. They will integrate the micro-turbine with the HelioFocus solar concentrator system.
Capstone has been studying a way to combine the benefits of a micro-turbine and a solar concentrator. The traditional Capstone micro-turbine engine uses gaseous or liquid fuels to heat combustion air. 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 increased power density of this system should reduce the amount of required real estate for siting these systems, according to the company.
Capstone Turbine Corporation was the first to market commercially viable microturbine energy products. Capstone Turbine has shipped over 4,000 Capstone MicroTurbine systems to customers worldwide.