Wednesday, November 4, 2009

BrightSource signs research agreements with Hebrew University

Yissum Research Development Company, the technology transfer arm of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, announced this week that it has signed two research agreements with BrightSource Industries Israel (BSII) for the development of new materials for solar thermal power plants.

Under the agreement, BrightSource will fund research in the laboratories of Professors Daniel Mandler, and Shlomo Magdassi, both from the Institute of Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This research collaboration is based on the know-how of Yissum and BSII.

In addition to payment of research fees, BSII will compensate Yissum upon the successful implementation of the technology in its solar power plants. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The new materials may be integrated in the solar thermal power plant technology developed by BSII and implemented in new utility-scale power plants worldwide.

The BSII technology generates electric power from solar energy by using a field of mirrors to reflect sunlight onto a boiler mounted atop a central tower (LPT Luz Power Tower), where water is converted to superheated steam that drives a turbine generator.

"Solar energy is definitely the most important, yet underutilized, clean energy source. Israel has always been a leading player in the solar energy field, and the Hebrew University is proud to collaborate with BrightSource Industries Israel in increasing the efficiency of solar thermal power plants," said Yaacov Michlin, CEO of Yissum.

Yoel Gilon
, Senior Vice President of BSII, said, "BSII's partnership with Yissum will leverage the academic and research excellence of the Hebrew University to develop cutting-edge new technologies for clean, cost-effective solar thermal power plants. The excellent level of cooperation among Yissum, the university researchers and BSII will be of great value to all the parties involved."

BSII, formerly known as Luz II, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oakland, California-based BrightSource Energy. BSII provides product development and engineering services, and supplies the solar fields, including heliostats, solar boilers, and control systems for all of BrightSource Energy's projects.

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Hebrew University to invest in cleantech projects

BrightSource Energy expands Nevada solar thermal project to 960 MW