Tadiran Batteries, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Saft Group, has been awarded a contract by Oakland USA based BrightSource Energy Inc. to provide rechargeable energy packs to power more than 50,000 controllable mirrors – called heliostats being deployed at the Ashalim Thermal Solar Power Station, located in the Israeli desert and that will be constructed by Alstom.
BrightSource Energy’s technology produces electricity the same way as fossil fuel power plants – by creating high-temperature steam to turn a conventional turbine. However, instead of using fossil fuels to create the steam, BrightSource uses the sun. Thousands of individually-controlled heliostats track the sun and reflect sunlight onto a boiler that sits atop a tower. When the concentrated sunlight strikes the solar receiver, it creates superheated steam which is used to turn a turbine and generate electricity. The Ashalim station will have a total power generating capacity of 121 MW, enough to meet the electricity needs of more than 120,000 homes.
During the day Tadiran’s rechargeable energy packs will drive the heliostat motors and power device communications. The rechargeable batteries help eliminate expensive cabling and wiring that would otherwise be required to power the heliostat motors and control modules.
Tadiran Batteries’ proven TLI series based rechargeable batteries will enable at least 25 years of day and night continuous operation. Designed specifically for harsh environments, the TLI Series represents major progress in rechargeable battery technology that meets the strict requirements of long term use under rough desert conditions.
Igal Carmi, President and CEO at Tadiran Batteries, commented: “We are proud to have been selected by BrightSource Energy to supply our state-of-the-art range of rechargeable lithium-ion battery systems for this innovative project. Awarded by a new client in a new sub-segment of energy harvesting, this order represents a significant commercial breakthrough for Tadiran and highlights the recognition by the industry for the excellence of its batteries”.
(Photo: Ivanpah solar thermal power plant; source: Alstom)