Avi Brenmiller, founder of Brenmiller Energy, told Business Insider about new technology that can keep solar plants running at night and producing energy at optimal levels even in cloudy weather. One hour of sun produces 3 hours of equivalent energy, but solar energy is hard to store, with a 5% loss at every 24 hour interval of storage. Brenmiller is creating a 1.5 megawatt 15 hectare site in the Negev desert connected to the national grid. This site can produce solar energy at a price that is competitive to fossil fuel equivalents. This site has technology that involves mirrors trapping the sun’s rays, converting them to steam, then to liquid which is conducted to a specialty storage system located under the mirrors that keeps the fuel at 550 Celsius. This store can be used at night or on cloudy days to access the steam and keep the turbines running.
Brenmiller said, “We have the technology at conventional fuel prices with the same availability around the clock. I think that’s the major breakthrough here.” Brenmiller founded Solel Solar which was sold to Siemens for $418 million.
This technology can create “grid parity, ” or the point at which alternative energy costs no more to produce than conventional fuel. Amit Mor, head of consulting agency Eco Energy, said, “In my understanding, there is no other technology like it in the world. It can be very useful to developing countries and developed countries alike.”