Solar Technology-enabled Demonstration Facility

Woodside Petroleum and Heliogen collaborate to build Solar Technology-Enabled Demonstration Facility

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Key Highlights:

  • Woodside Petroleum to build a 5-megawatt demonstration facility using Heliogen’s AI-enabled concentrated solar technology
  • The cost-effective solar power technology aims at replacing fossil fuels and generates reliable renewable power delivering clean energy
  • The solar technology-enabled demonstration facility will enable low-cost storage in the form of high-temperature thermal energy

Solar Technology-enabled Demonstration Facility

Australia’s Woodside Petroleum has recently collaborated with Heliogen–a Pasadena-based technology player–to build a 5-megawatt demonstration facility in California. The facility will be built using Heliogen’s artificial intelligence-enabled concentrated solar technology. The demonstration facility aims at providing access to abundant and reliable renewable power through remote power generation and other industrial processes. Heliogen is a renewable energy technology company that uses cost-effective solar power technology to replace fossil fuels. Woodside Petroleum is an Australian petroleum exploration and production company that develops various liquefied natural gas projects.

AI-enabled Power Generation

The demonstration facility will use Heliogen’s AI-enabled concentrated solar energy system intending to deliver clean energy with 24*7 availability. This will be done by utilizing advanced computer vision software that will precisely align an array of mirrors to reflect sunlight to a single target at the top of the solar tower. This will enable low-cost storage in the form of high-temperature thermal energy. 

Heliogen’s system will provide industrial-grade heat that is capable of replacing fossil fuels in industrial processes including the production of cement, steel, and petrochemicals. This heat can enable power generation by combining a supercritical CO2 turbine, green hydrogen fuel production, and an electrolyzer. It has the potential to transform the heavy industry by turning sunlight into a zero-carbon source of heat, power, and hydrogen. 

Replacing Fossil Fuels

The breakthrough solar technology aims at reducing the gap between the availability of fossil fuels in the energy market and the cost of solar technologies by using AI, software, and thermal storage. Before proceeding with the production of the solar technology-enabled demonstration facility, both the companies conducted a six-month feasibility study and developed a front-end engineering and design contract. The construction and development of the demonstration facility is expected to commence next year.

Also Read: Billionaire’s $100 million donation makes space solar power project possible



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