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Solar Research Blooms in the Negev

Solar Research Blooms in the Negev

March 23, 2012

Alternative Energy, Robotics & High-Tech

At the Ben-Gurion National Solar Energy Center, BGU researchers are working to harness the desert’s most abundant resource: the sun.

This facility, located on the Sde Boker campus of BGU, has given researchers the equipment and technology to develop innovative ways to channel the sun’s energy for a variety of uses.

solarpanels050809The Ben-Gurion National Solar Energy Center also provides a site for solar companies to test their equipment alongside BGU researchers. This mutually beneficial relationship allows industry professionals and researchers to trade knowledge and expertise.

Zenith Solar, an Israeli start-up company, is building new solar panels based on technology developed by Prof. David Faiman, head of the Solar Energy Center and of BGU’s Department of Solar Energy and Environmental Physics.

“They make a solar product that is basically a smaller version of the huge dish sitting at the Sde Boker site. Instead of 400 square meters of reflecting area, these need only 11. Zenith installed 16 units at a kibbutz in Israel called Yavne in 2009, and it generates enough power for the 220 residents that the kibbutz now sells power back to the national grid,” says writer Dave Levitan.

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