Israeli Scientists Demonstrate New Type of Solar Energy Power
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Israeli Scientists Demonstrate New Type of Solar Energy Power

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The model of a new type of a solar energy power package, which was developed by Israeli scientists and which represents an important advance in the use of solar power, was demonstrated today to Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and other Cabinet members.

The power package, which was developed by the National Physical Laboratory, a unit of the National Research Council, was reported to be highly practical as a source of electricity in distant areas where linkage to an electrical grid would be impractical. The package will be exhibited at the United Nations Conference on New Sources of Energy which will open in Rome next month.

The package has three basic parts. One is a collector of solar heat. The second is a vapor turbine and the third is a heat collector as a backstop to an electric accumulator. The heat collector is an inflated plastic cylinder 40 feet long and five feet in diameter, a form developed during many years of research on heat absorption.

New optical findings led to the cylindrical form which promises to become the cheapest form of a solar collector for medium temperatures. The turbine uses chlorobenzene vapor instead of the usual water steam which has low efficiency. The new turbine is about three times as efficient as those which are typical on small units.


To insure a continuous energy supply in the evening and at night, and to even out the supply during peak sunshine hours, some form of energy storage is required. Since the usual storage by electric batteries is expensive, Israeli scientists developed heat accumulators which contain material melting at 150 degrees centigrade (300 Fahrenheit) which absorbs heat when melting and gives off heat when solidifying.

In addition to the three basic components, which were developed in Israel, the package includes a generator which generates current from accumulated heat. The unit also has an auxiliary emergency kerosene heater for use during prolonged cloudy periods.

The model shown today has six cylindrical collectors and produces five horsepower. Depending on the number of collectors used, the new turbine can supply efficiently two to ten Kilowatts. Produced industrially, the package should cost from $2, 000 to $10, 000 with a projected cost of five cents per kilowatt in sunny climates. This is a reasonable cost for electricity in remote farms and villages.

Scientists said that a small five-horse power unit could supply enough current for ten refrigerators and one water pump during daylight hours and for 50 lamps or radio sets at night.

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