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Capstone Microturbine and Heliofocus CSPs Working Together Efficiently in Israel


We’ve been talking about the Capstone Turbine Corporation a long time ago. They used their turbines to everything from cars to solar generators. Now, Capstone and HelioFocus (a company specialized in solar concentrators) announced today their first product that converts sunlight into electricity. The solar receiver is from Heliofocus and the turbine from Capstone.

The C65 microturbine and the fixed optical tower using heliostats have been demonstrated at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel. The heat from the solar concentrator drives the microturbine and yields a higher efficiency than photovoltaic systems. Added to this, the increased power density of the system reduces the space it has to occupy.

“The concept scales to all Capstone microturbine products, from the C30 through the C1000 Series, generating 30kW to 5MW of electricity,” said Mark Gilbreth, Capstone Executive Vice President and CTO. “The commercial Concentrated Solar Power product should compare favorably in cost to photovoltaic.”

Concentrated solar systems are indeed most efficient when coupled with devices that change heat into mechanical work very efficiently. They’re a great alternative to photovoltaics, which convert light in a much more sophisticated manner. The advantage of CSPs is that they also convert heat into electricity, unlike their more advanced siblings.

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  1. Steam is a great working fluid, hell we still ride steam engines into and out of Manhatten and most other big cities. Electricity in itself is clean. To boil water directly from sunlight with steam as the working fluid to produce electricity is as benign as it gets.


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