Helio100: breakthrough for modular concentrating solar power

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The feasibility of concentrating solar power (CSP) as a realistic, cost-effective and clean alternative to fossil fuels, is set to be given a major boost with the launch of a pilot CSP facility at Stellenbosch University (SU) demonstrating a new solar collector system.

Situated at Mariendahl, an experimental farm of SU, the Helio100 pilot facility is to be officially opened at the end of September. The Helio100 technology is designed for CSP plants as small as 100kW – enough power to provide electricity for about 30 South African households.

Sponsored by the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), Helio100 is being developed by the Solar Thermal Energy Research Group (STERG) at SU – the first university research group in the country to focus on solar thermal energy research –and the project is hosted in the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) in SU’s Faculty of Engineering.

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